Union Minister for Communication and HRD Kapil Sibal has said that industry and academia can collaborate for the creation of content for the digital network which the government is building to connect universities and institutes. He was addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Global Higher Education Summit.
‘The issue of academia-industry collaborations is complex and there are no simple answers to increasing the interaction between the two. However, one way of industry to collaborate with academia is to create content for the digital network which the government was building to connect universities and institutes. In two years’ time a digital optic fibre network will also connect all the gram panchayats in the country,’ he said.
The minister also lauded the efforts of CII in setting up a ‘University-Industry Congress’ as a permanent mechanism for interaction between industry and academia. CII is working with the Planning Commission and is in the process of creating the framework of the 12th Five Year Plan on increasing the share of private players in higher education.
During the summit a paper was also released a paper containing CII’s recommendations to the Planning Commission on changes required in the regulatory setup to increase private investment in higher education.
The paper, which now forms part of the plan panel’s working group report on private sector participation, including public private partnership (PPP) in higher education, makes a strong pitch for changes in the Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA) so that greater foreign direct investments (FDI) can flow in higher education.
Wherever there is foreign direct investment (FDI), the FCRA Act comes into play. Though section 25 companies do not come under FCRA, investors are jittery since the FCRA legislation has harsh penal provisions.
To overcome this fear, CII has recommended that a clarification be made by the appropriate authority in the government that FCRA is not applicable to investments made under automatic FDI in a section 25 company against equity subscription.[Source: Sify]