Sunday, September 15, 2013

Foreign Universities have to enter India with the help of the Chinese!!

The Ministry of HRD which regulates Universities through the University Grants Commission is now proposing to pass a set of regulations called the UGC (Establishment and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules to allow foreign Universities to set up campuses in India.

The twist in these rules comes in the stipulation that only the top 400 (why 400 and why not 100 or 350 or 500?) Universities as ranked by the Chinese body would be allowed in!!  I can understand the fascination that Indian have toward anything American and so it comes to me as a big surprise that these rules now stipulate the Chinese ranking.  So, any American University which wants to come into India should now be ranked by the Chinese before they can apply.  While the American themselves have embraced "Made in China" wholeheartedly, I wonder how these American Universities will react to the Indian dictat!!

Of course, the European ranking by Times and a for-profit entity called QS would also be considered.   But then, what happens if a University is ranked 400 by the Chinese and 401 by the Europeans!!

I believe that the Indian MHRD and the UGC have foregone a wonderful opportunity to set up their own ranking system to rank the world's Universities and then take the top 300 or 400 of them to allow them into India.  Once again the Indians have succumbed to the line of control drawn by the Chinese.

While the rules stipulate that foreign Universities should be in existence for at least 20 years before they can enter India, they have not specified how long they should have been ranked in the top 400 by the Chinese.  I wonder what will happen to the 400th University that is allowed into India after which it loses that ranking; will it be sent out of India?

 In the meanwhile, the waiting continues ...

Sankaran Raghunathan

Foreign Universities in India: Indian Ministry of HRD tries to govern through regulations what it cannot do by law

In a very interesting move, the Ministry of HRD which regulates Universities through the University Grants Commission is now proposing to pass a set of regulations called the UGC (Establishment and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules to allow foreign Universities to set up campuses in India.

See the news release at with its grammatical and spelling mistakes!!

Mr. Kapil Sibal, a lawyer and the former Minister tried to get the same thing done through an Act of law to be passed through the Parliament which is yet to take it up.  What the lawyer could not do, the current Minister, an MBA from Temple University USA, may succeed by a clever play of governing through rules and regulations.  This is how bureaucrats have always been governing the country through extra-legal means.

This set of rules comes on the heels of the Supreme Court decision that struck down the rules framed by the AICTE, another body of the MHRD, through which the AICTE has been claiming to regulate all the MBA programs in the country.

The new rules that the MHRD is framing through which it seeks to allow foreign Universities to set up campuses in India and award degrees specifies that the foreign Universities can set up a legal entity under The Companies Act under Section 25 which would make it a non-profit entity and thus no distribution of surplus funds is possible.  It also stipulates a deposit of US$ 4 million (Rs.25 crores; thanks to the Rupee depreciation) which may be forfeited if the foreign University does "anything" that violates the rules.

The degrees that these foreign Universities are allowed to issue would be considered foreign degrees!!  Therefore, there is still the need for these degrees to be equated to the Indian ones through an application to the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).  I do not understand why these new UGC rules that allow the Universities to award the degrees cannot stipulate the equivalencies instead of making these foreign Universities to run around the AIU.  This is like telling the Hyundai car company that their car completely made in Chennai would be treated like a foreign car and therefore has to undergo all the "import" formalities!!

I wonder why the MHRD is going around doing this. There is nothing in the law currently that states that a foreign University cannot set up its campus in India.  Any body, can apply to UGC and set up a University under the existing laws.

I am reminded of a situation where my friend's car was towed away by the cops from its parking spot when he was visiting me at my office.  When he called the cops to recover his car, he asked them why they towed his car and they said that it was parked illegally.  He said that there were no NO-PARKING signs, for which the cops asked him if there were any PARKING signs.  In India, it seems that what is not specifically provided for, is taken to be prohibited!!

My question is all this is simple:  How many Foreign Universities are lining up outside the MHRD doors in Delhi wanting to set up their campus in India?

- Sankaran Raghunathan

Friday, August 23, 2013

Internships in India for international students - study abroad in India

Internships Globally - Searching through the maze

Here is some information on how to find internships in India, especially for international students.  Several of these internships are part of a study abroad program.

Here are some portals that list several global internships that are available in India for international students: lists about 205 internship programs in India from 73 organizations.  In this site, search is possible only by country and subject area.  For example, there are 17 internship programs in Information Systems in India offered by 12 organizations.  Cost or fees for the program is not a search criteria.  Similarly, there is no search criteria for Paid or unpaid internships or for scholarships.  These additional search criteria would make the site more friendly for students. lists 56 internship programs in India.  Out of these, only 4 are internships in Information Systems.  Here again, you cannot search by additional criteria such as whether they are paid/unpaid internships and by the fee/cost or scholarships. has 43 internship listings for India.  This site is driven by reviews submitted by those who have attended these programs.  This site also does not provide for narrowing down the search by cost or stipend. is a site maintained for The Institute for International Education (IIE).  This site lists 35 internship programs in India.  Out of these 35 programs, 11 of them offer scholarships.  Of these, only 2 programs are semester length programs and that cost less than $15,000 for the entire semester costs.  Only one of the programs is in the Informations Systems field.  Clearly, this level of search granularity helps study abroad advisors and students to identify programs that are suited to them.  IIEPASSPORT.ORG site can be searched by Country, Term, Format, Language, Subject, Level, Cost and Scholarship. has the largest number of listings - 3668 internships from 814 organizations worldwide.  Out of these 3,668 internships, only 205 are in India. has 1,067 internships worldwide. and do not provide a feature to search by internships worldwide; you can only search by a country or region.

Several providers/programs are listed in all these 4 portals and so there is considerable overlap.  However, the sheer number of listings over 3,600 in demonstrates the growing interest in internships among students.  But, if we search for business oriented internships, there are only less than 1,000 programs.  This could be due to the fact that most business schools do not offer internships for credit.

Most of these internships are stand alone programs offering only internship experience.  These are offered by commercial companies who are in the placement service and they do not necessarily offer internship for academic credit.  For the typical student, however, what matters is the combination of academic course work and an academic internship for credit over the summer or a semester.  Quite a few programs offer such an academic semester program with credits for internship.

We, at the National Management School, offer an internship program for business school students who major in Management Information Systems.  This is a 15-credit Semester Abroad program in which 6 credits are toward a 300 hour paid internship at Capgemini and 9 credits are from 3 courses.  Not only is this a paid internship, the total cost for the student including international air fare, visa, academic tuition fee, housing, meals, travel, etc. comes to less than $12,500.  A matching scholarship offered by our partners brings the cost down to about $10,500.  The whole idea is to make the cost of this program almost the same as the in-state cost so that for the student there is tremendous value.  The University at Albany is the partner who awards the credits and transcripts to the students.

We hope to expand this program to other majors in business schools in the near future.

Paid International Internship in India as part of a Study Abroad program for a semester

We have partnered with University at Albany and Capgemini, world's fourth largest software company to bring an exciting program for American undergraduate students to study abroad.  Beginning with Spring 2014, The National Management School will host a cohort of American students from various US universities.  These students who decide to study abroad in India for a semester will get to do 6 credits of Internship at Capgemini's Mumbai offices for 8 weeks and also study 3 courses at NMS as part of the 15-credit program. 

Interested students can read about this on Capgemini's website at

University at Albany (SUNY) will award the credits and transcripts for these students.  Students may apply online at University at Albany site at

This internship is open to American citizens or permanent residents who are rising juniors or seniors in the Business School with a major in Management Information Systems.

Come; learn how to win in India. If you can succeed in India, you can be a success anywhere in the world!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Solving Detroit's Problems

America has several things going for it.  However, I am going to focus on just two things that foreigners salivate about – American education and H-1B visas to work in America.  This will make my job easier in recommending solutions to the Detroit problem. 

Let me first handle American education.  Chinese and Indians are the two largest foreign groups of students making a beeline to US universities in spite of high tuition fees.  So, let me suggest that the Michigan Government decide to offer admission to the first 100,000 undergraduate international student applicants  at a tuition fee of not more than $10,000 per year.  At this tuition rate, getting 100,000 foreign students to the state university of Michigan is not at all a problem.  Every foreign student coming to any of the State Universities of Michigan will spend another $10,000 on living expenses and that is $1 billion of spending that will galvanize the Michigan economy.  Take a surcharge from that to pay Detroit.

The second suggestion is to issue 200,000 H1B visas to foreign employees of IT companies as a one-time emergency measure with 2 conditions – (1) the companies need to pay a surcharge of $10 per hour of work to the Michigan State Government for the first 5 years, and (2) the IT companies should employ these foreign H1B workers only in the state of Michigan for 5 years.   IT companies such as IBM, Accenture, CSC, Capgemini, TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, and, Wipro will gladly grab these H1B visas.  This will fetch $4 billion in such surcharge per year.  The state taxes from the employee income is another $500 million.  These employees will spend on housing and other assets in the state that will also enrich the state economy.  Use a surcharge from this to pay for Detroit.

My job as an academician is to offer suggestions; I have done it now.  Do not ask me how to implement these suggestions.  It is for the Michigan Governor and the Detroit Mayor to figure out; they are the ones who have the mess to clean up.

- Sankaran Raghunathan
Dean, The National Management School

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Making an American Undergraduate (bachelor’s) education come true – Part 2

The American Undergraduate Degrees and how they are different from the Indian Bachelor’s Degree

In India, a student usually enters a college or university after Plus Two, enrolling into a specific degree with a major, selected at the time of applying to the school. In the three or four years of the bachelor’s degree program, the student takes a predetermined series of courses in a predetermined order. In other words, the student’s college coursework and route to graduation is charted out very clearly at the time of entering the program. At the end of three or four years, the student gets a B.A., B.Sc., B.E., B.Tech., or B.Arch degree.

The American undergraduate program on the other hand is extremely flexible, and can be completed in three to seven years (or more), with the student taking as many courses as they can afford to pay for, in the areas that interest them. Students do not have to declare a major until they have completed two years of college, or some level of basic coursework. The average American undergraduate degree program takes four years, and the student completes around 120 credits of study in subjects that include General Education, Core Requirements, and Free Electives.
Interestingly, a lot of American students do not complete all of their undergraduate coursework at the same institution. They do the courses in multiple institutions. The choice of these institutions is determined by factors like cost, proximity to home town, choice of courses offered, and the ease of getting into the institution. The varieties of institutions that offer college level courses are community colleges, four-year colleges, private and public universities. Community colleges are two year public institutions that offer Associate Degrees. Four year colleges give the two year Associate and the four year Bachelor’s Degrees. Universities can offer the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs and degrees.
This movement from institution to institution is possible because of a concept called “College Credit Transfer”. Any student who applies to a US university will see the following options listed in the choice of programs – First Year student, Transfer Student. This is because a lot of students find it more convenient to study closer to home at a Community College or a 4-year College, and then transfer for the final two years to a four-year College or to a university.

 (See this section on Wikipedia for a concise description of how college transfers work:
Two year degrees come in a variety of flavors: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Sciences, and very specific two year degrees that train for a specific career or vocation. The two-year Associate of Arts degree is awarded after two years and sixty credits of course work. The course work can be targeted towards a specific major such as sociology or economics, or it can be in General Studies. The course work can be transferred to another institution for a higher level degree, if that institution accepts the level of the coursework.
So while getting an Associate degree, a student who aims for higher education should be smart enough to target the requirements of the next level of study while choosing the coursework for the Associate degree. The structure of the Associate degree starts with the next degree, the Bachelor’s degree, and the major that the student is interested in. This will help the student work backwards and structure the Associate degree to fulfill the requirements of the bachelor’s degree. Knowing which university the student wants to go to makes this process easier, as the student can then tailor the associate degree according to the university’s requirements.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Making an American Undergraduate (bachelor’s) education come true – Part1

An American four-year Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate degree as it is called) is a great educational experience. It combines unique campus experience and quality of teaching found only in US universities. It has content and style.

Indian parents recognize the American bachelor’s degree to have value, but not many families send their children to the USA for a bachelor’s degree. The reasons for this are many:
- A bachelor’s degree in the USA is quite expensive, and not many can afford four years of tuition and hostel expenses
- Parents are not comfortable sending eighteen year old students just out of high school so far away
- Parents may not feel that children are mature enough to handle the transition
- Children may not feel capable of going away from familiar surroundings just yet
- Children may feel doubts about their ability to handle American style teaching, and cope with the cultural changes at the same time

Recognizing these misgivings, many American universities are now entering into collaborations with Indian institutions where students can do two years in India, and then complete the remaining two years in the USA. This collaboration comes mainly in two flavors:
- the 2+2 program where the student gets an Associate degree at the end of the first two years, and then transfers to ANY American university of choice
- the twinning program where the student completes two years in India, and transfers to the specific university with which their institution has a collaboration

The primary differences between these two types of collaborations are:
- at the end of the 2+2 program the student gets a Associate degree; at the end of two years of the twinning program, there is no degree awarded. The degree is awarded only after four years.
- in the 2+2 program, the student can transfer to any American university for which they fulfill the transfer criteria; in the twinning program, the American university is pre-determined

This 2+2 structure is possible because of the nature of the American bachelor’s degree program. Every undergraduate program in the USA requires the student to complete a given number of credits in General Education which covers English Language, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Quantitative techniques. This is regardless of whether the major is arts, science, business or engineering.

The split program described above allows the student to complete the General Education requirements in India, in a homely atmosphere, with the support of family, and at less expense, and then transfer to an American university for their education in America to complete the major requirements. It allows the student to get familiar with American style curriculum and teaching. It helps the student to do independent research and team collaborations, which are important in an American curriculum. It helps the student handle any weaknesses the student might have in math or sciences or any other subject, here in India, before moving to the USA.

Doing part of the degree in India reduces the cost for families and makes it possible for more students to get an American bachelor’s degree. The tuition cost in the 2+2 program can get reduced by 50% depending on the program and facilities offered.

The 2+2 program enables the students to get American style education, here in India, and facilitates a transfer in the third year, when the student is older, and presumably more mature and capable of being away from home. This program helps students realize their dream of an undergraduate American education