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Commercial education companies from abroad have often attempted to enter India through the backdoor and some of them have even been found to have violated Indian laws that prevent exploitation of students.
Such companies are known to exploit the obsession of the Indian middle class for certification from foreign institutions, and in the process, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) guidelines are often flouted.
Recently, the Singapore-based Raffles Education Corporation attracted attention for trying to bypass Indian laws by trying to take over a not-for-profit education society -- the Jai Radha Raman Education Society (JRRES).
Indian law clearly states that a not-for-profit education society cannot become a subsidiary of a for-profit company or be run for the benefit of a corporation, and keeping this fact in mind, the Registrar of Societies of Delhi and the National Capital Territory passed strictures on Raffles Education Corporation, Singapore, for trying to create a sham scheme to take over a society.
The Registrar of Societies (Delhi/NCR) said in its order that eight members of the society and some of its members, including Singaporean industrialist Chew Hua Seng, received loans through their joint venture company, then posing first as ordinary members of the society gained society membership, and later on revealed themselves to be nominees of the Raffles Education Corporation to have a controlling role in its operation.
It said, "There is no doubt that eight members from Singapore, while seeking membership of society, by filing in the membership form along with bio-data have hidden the fact that they were working on behalf of the Raffles Group of companies, having implicit commercial interest in the form of positions held by them in these companies."
The order strictly said the Raffles Education Corporation must stop all funding that violates foreign direct investment or Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines of the country.
Questions were also raised about the Raffles Group move to buy land for use other than education that it deemed was in violation of lease conditions set forth by the Noida Authority.
Interestingly, the JRRE College in Noida does not have either proper AICTE or AKTU approval to conduct courses as there are several lapses . Regulations regarding student fees and selection of teachers are also found to be wanting as per existing regulations.
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