Centre: Foreign universities setting up campuses in GIFT City can repatriate profits

To encourage foreign universities to set up campuses in Gujarat’s GIFT city, the Center has notified regulations that say these entities will be free to repatriate profits to their parent campuses.

The regulations by the International Financial Services Authority (IFSCA), which is the regulatory body for GIFT City, come at a time when the University Grants Commission (UGC) is drafting rules governing foreign educational institutions that want to set up campus in India.

UGC rules will be applicable to all these potential projects except for GIFT City where only IFSCA guidelines will be applicable.

“The parent entity will be allowed to repatriate profits, if any, without any restrictions,” said the IFSCA guidelines, published in the Gazette of India on 12 October.

Notably, an Education Ministry committee that recently framed guidelines for the expansion of IITs in foreign countries had recommended that parent institutes in India should expect a reasonable amount of gifts from these offshore campuses, around 10 to 15 percent of the total offshore campus spend.
In a similar vein, the IFSCA regulations will allow foreign institutes to repatriate profits from the campuses they set up in GIFT City.

By the way, the draft regulation that IFSCA published in June had not mentioned this aspect.

On the other hand, the notified regulations of the IFSCA also emphasize that the courses or programs offered by foreign university campuses “must be identical in all aspects to the course or program” offered at home.

The degree, diploma or certificates must also be identical, the regulations say. These will also “enjoy the same recognition and status as if they were carried out by the parent entity in its home jurisdiction”.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in the Annual Budget 2022-23 that top foreign universities and institutions would be in GIFT City to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” free from national regulations…”

The regulations require that applicant foreign universities must be in the top 500 of the latest round of QS rankings.

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