American business seeks incentives for educational investment in India

July 3rd, 2010 - 1:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 3 (IANS) The US-India Business Council has expressed support for the Foreign Education Bill pending before the Indian parliament, but said certain financial requirements could deter foreign educational institutions from investing in India.
In a letter to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, the trade association representing over 300 leading US firms investing in India said the legislation is a critical step in opening India’s higher education system and meeting the goal of 30 percent Gross Enrolment Ratio in the next ten years.

“Importantly, the Bill will help to foster greater knowledge exchange between our two countries, further strengthening the growing Strategic Partnership,” USIBC President Ron Somers wrote.

“We believe, however, that there are a number of provisions in the Bill that could deter foreign educational institutions from investing in India,” he said citing the proposed financial requirements that “could dissuade some institutions from establishing partnerships in India.”

“Many colleges and universities are ready and willing to invest in India’s educational system and are eager to partner with Indian schools,” Somers said. “It is critical, however, that certain incentives be established to guarantee their participation in such an endeavour.”

As the world’s largest free-market democracies, the United States and India must be leaders in driving global growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, he said.

“To do so, both countries must equip the next generation with the education and skills necessary to compete and win in the 21st Century economy,” Somers said assuring USIBC’s support as the private-sector convener of the US-India Higher Education Forum.

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