The 2009 guidelines make MEA approval mandatory for international institutions signing MoU with Indian institutions

International educational institutions, especially Chinese institutions, operating in India without government approval will come under the scanner, a government spokesperson has said.

The Indian Express has reported that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is planning to review the status of Confucius Institutes operated jointly by Chinese Confucius Institute and seven Indian institutes. The government is also planning to scrutinize around 54 MoUs signed between Indian and Chinese educational institutions.

According to a statement by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, the government had in 2009 released guidelines regarding the establishment and functioning of Foreign Cultural Centres in India. The guidelines made it mandatory for all international institutions to seek an approval from MEA before signing an MoU with any Indian institution.

The Indian Express reported that in absence of proper approval from the MEA, the institutions will come under the scanner of the government. The report said that the government plans to review the status of Confucius Institutes under these guidelines, however, it did not specify whether any of these institutions violate the guidelines or not.

The Indian Express also reported Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong commenting on the same. He said that the Chinese government hopes India to treat China-India education cooperation in an objective and fair manner.

According to several other media reports, the Indian government is taking measures to limit China’s participation in India following the deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on June 15. These reports suggest that the government might take several measures including limiting visas and stopping cultural and youth exchanges apart from reviewing the status of Chinese funded Confucius Institutes in India.

Reports say that a proposal is being prepared by the government’s China Study Group under the leadership of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Read the full report in The Indian Express