Kerala: Previous CPI (M) ministers express apprehension on entry of foreign universities

In a recent announcement, while presenting the budget, Finance Minister KN Balagopal announced the proposal of setting up foreign university campuses in the state
KN Balagopal (Pic: + TNIE)
KN Balagopal (Pic: + TNIE)

While the Kerala State Government (Left Democratic Front - LDF) proposed to explore the scope of foreign universities in the state in its recent announcement of the budget, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI - M) announcement ten years ago posits itself in stark contrast to what is being established now.

Affecting the country's rich culture and a colonial hangover

According to a report by The New Indian Express, Senior CPI (M) leader and then education minister, MA Baby, stated in the Legislative Assembly in 2010 that the state would not support entry of foreign universities into the country. Previously, the state was in complete disagreement with the matter, said Baby.

In a reply to the issue, he said that the entry of foreign universities would affect the country's rich culture, and the education provided would not be within our Constitutional framework. "Opening India's doors to foreign universities would not be acceptable to the growth of Indian universities and higher education in the country. The state government has informed the Union Government about its difference of opinion in the matter," he said.

C Raveendranath, another CPI (M) leader, who had raised a similar issue in the Assembly on July 27, 2010, was highly critical of the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre for its move to allow foreign universities in the country, as he called it a "colonial hangover" and blatant commercialisation of education.

On Monday, February 5, Finance Minister of Kerala KN Balagopal announced the proposal to explore the scope of setting up foreign university campuses in the state, per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, that vouched to establish a framework for the entry and operation of foreign higher educational institutions in the country, according to the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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