Foreign degrees 'not recognised'

September 26, 1997

FOREIGN universities seeking to promote their courses in India have been told to carry a cautionary note in their prospectuses and application forms warning that their degrees or diplomas are not recognised by the Indian government.

The directive, handed down by a court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, should clear the confusion over the status of overseas academic institutions that have appeared in India in large numbers since the opening-up of the economy five years ago.

Last month, the same court had restrained seven foreign universities, including three from Britain, from continuing to operate in India following a petition by a Madras resident challenging their "legality".

He had argued that only universities established by an act of Indian parliament could award degrees, and that foreign institutions were "misleading" students by not declaring that they were not recognised by the Indian government.

British universities affected by the court order include Leeds, Northumbria and Durham. Leeds said that it was not awarding degrees in India.

The court's latest ruling rejected the petitioner's plea that foreign universities affected India's economic interests. But to ensure that students knew what they were getting into, it told the universities to warn them that the courses were not recognised by the Indian government.

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