Coming soon: special higher education zones
Thiruvananthapuram: The government will give sanction to those investing in the education sector to set up special higher education zones, similar to the special economic zones (SEZs). They will be private enterprises. Academic cities will also be sanctioned in the private sector.
The special education zones will be known as International Higher Academic Zones (IHAZ). There, students will be admitted to various courses offered by universities in India and abroad. As in the case of SEZs, concessions will be provided to the Higher Academic Zones. Special laws will be applicable to them.
The government will kick off the project at the international educational conference to be held in Thiruvananthapuram in January.
Those firms which have academic relations with prominent international universities and which are able to invest in the education sector will get sanction to start the special zones. They should set up smart classrooms, laboratories of high standards, libraries, and other facilities. They can offer international masters programmes and national degree courses. Courses offered by varsities in the country and abroad can be conducted at the same time.
The Academic City Authority will monitor the functioning of the educational zones to come up in various parts of the state. The firms can fix the fees. Twenty-five per cent of the tuition fees should be given to the government, which will be spent in the higher education sector. The entrepreneur will need 20 acres of land, where they should set up facilities on a par with international standards. Expressions of interest will be invited for the purpose.
Govt to be part of project
The government will be part of the special zones by offering concession. It will create an environment suitable for business through relaxations of rules and amendments. Single-window facility will be introduced to give various administrative sanctions. There will be concession in the registration fees for the 20 acres land, apart from tax concessions. Steps will be taken to set up roads, water, electricity, and internet facility in the zones.