GUJARAT’S GIFT City has formed a three-member expert committee comprising eminent academicians for scrutiny and evaluation of applications from foreign universities keen on setting up their offshore campuses in India.
The committee formed in late January is headed by Prof Sudhir Jain, founding director of IIT, Gandhinagar (IITGN) and present Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, and includes Prof Rajat Moona, current IITGN director, and Prof Pramath Raj Sinha, founding dean of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and founder and trustee at Ashoka University.
The GIFT City, Gandhinagar, through International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), on February 23 notified applications for setting up International Branch Campuses or Offshore Education Centres under the IFSCA Regulations, 2022.
“The GIFT City recently formed the expert committee after the government notified the rules in October 2022. The members are well known educationists from across the country who are recognised by the government,” Tapan Ray, Managing Director and Group CEO of GIFT City, told The Indian Express.
In over one month since its formation, the committee has already met thrice — both offline and online — to understand the functioning and mandate of the panel, the logistics, among other things. The most recent meeting was held in the third week of February to look into the application of Australia’s Deakin University, the first foreign institute that showed interest in setting up its independent campus in the country.
Though there is no mandate on the frequency of meetings, the committee is likely to meet once in a month and as and when there are applications. The official announcement about Deakin University campus in GIFT-City will be made by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during his two-day visit to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on March 8 and 9.
On the status of Deakin University’s application, Prof Moona said, “We have had two rounds of meetings with Deakin University. They have given presentations both the times. The process of forwarding them to the GIFT City Board of Directors is still under process.”
Tapan Ray confirmed, “No applications have so far been forwarded by the expert committee.”
Deakin University has submitted two postgraduate programmes to the committee — cybersecurity and management. They are planning about 100-150 students in the first year. They have proposed to get the faculty from both India and Australia. Initially, they will get their faculty from Australia but later source them locally.
Deakin University Vice-Chancellor visited the GIFT City on February 17 to attend meeting with the expert committee.
Courtesy : The Indian Express