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Last updated: 29 Apr 2022
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India has announced that collaboration between Indian educational establishments and China's Confucius Institutes will now require Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act approval. On April 5, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) sent a circular to college and university heads informing them of the Centre's decision.
The statement stated that "Any partnership with a non-governmental organisation or foundation is governed by the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act" (FCRA). As a result, all the universities/institutions that engage with Confucius Institutes/Hanban/CLEC or intend to collaborate to establish Confucius Institutes (CIs) or any other joint venture under any other name will be required to obtain prior FCRA approval.
The Confucius Institutes are currently under the jurisdiction and management of the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) in China, according to a circular issued by the UGC and the AICTE. The CLEC is a non-profit professional educational organisation for international Chinese language instruction, according to the circular, and is associated with China's Ministry of Education.
The Confucius Institutes are classified as foreign cultural centres by the Indian government, which needs their clearance by the Ministry of External Affairs. The FCRA approval will be required in addition to the MEA clearance under the updated requirements.
According to the Confucius Institutions, there are 550 institutes and 1,172 Confucius classrooms in 162 countries. In 2020, India was said to have reviewed seven university collaborations and 54 memorandums of understanding on inter-school cooperation signed between Indian and China.
The Chinese embassy stated that it hopes India's relevant parties can approach Confucius Institutes and China-India education collaboration in an objective and fair manner.
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