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World|politics|October 30, 2020 / 11:13 AM
After ban on Chinese mobile apps, India looks to scrutinize on Chinese universities

AKIPRESS.COM - India and China have been locked in an intense border stand-off since early May. Even as region ascends towards the winter season, the Himalayan conflict is far from over with the two countries still holding rounds of discussion for disengagement in Ladakh with no solution in sight, The Eurasian Times reported.

After the 15 June’s violent face-off between Indian and Chinese PLA soldiers which resulted in the unfortunate killing of 20 Indian soldiers and an unconfirmed number of the Chinese side, New Delhi has been using different tactics to counter China.

India not only banned more than 100 Chinese apps on the grounds of security concerns, but New Delhi also levied heavy taxes on certain Chinese imports. The Indian government made it mandatory for any nation sharing a land border with India to seek approval to invest in the country. It wasn’t said but it was clear that the move was aimed at China.

Now India’s Education Ministry is considering making it mandatory for Indian universities to obtain approval from the government before signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with educational institutions of countries which share land borders with India.

As part of India’s New Education Policy, Ministry of Education had undertaken a review of jointly established Confucius classrooms in seven Indian universities and colleges.

The Confucius program is a Chinese language and culture program financed by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. In July, the Ministry of Education had announced probe at higher education institutes offering Chinese language training program for their links with Hanban.

Apart from India, countries like the US and Australia have also raised suspicion over the Hanban-run Confucius Institutes. The US has labelled the Confucius Institutes as a foreign propaganda mission of Chinese government-run global education program. Sweden had earlier ordered closure of Confucius language schools run in Swedish universities.

China had responded to India’s decision to probe universities offering courses in Chinese (Mandarin) language earlier. It had said that all the institutes were established after signing legally binding cooperation agreements and India should not politicize people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The Hanban website shows there are three Confucius Institutes in India at the University of Mumbai, the Vellore Institute of Technology, and Lovely Professional University. The Chinese department Kolkata, Bharathiar University, and K.R. Mangalam University are also being scrutinized.

Mumbai University and Kolkata School of Chinese Languages have been asked by India’s Education Ministry to submit documentation pertaining to their partnership and details of their exchange activities with Confucius Headquarters in China for review.

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