Beiing, Aug 04, 2020: Nearly 24 hours before India begins a comprehensive review of local chapters of Confucius Institutes and agreements with Indian universities, Beijing on Tuesday asked New Delhi to treat India-China higher education in an “objective and fair manner”. In a statement, the Chinese embassy asked India to avoid what it described as “politicisation of normal cooperation” between the two countries and maintain stable people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Hindustan Times had first reported the government’s move to review the institutes after intelligence agencies raised security concerns around these institutes. The agencies had also pointed out that many central universities and institutes had gone ahead to sign pacts with Chinese institutes without basic approvals from the Centre.
The security alert came against the backdrop of a standoff between soldiers of the two countries that has stretched for over 90 days and mounting concerns in parts of the world over the misuse of institutions funded by the Chinese government for activities other than academics.
The review, to be carried out jointly by the higher education regulator University Grants Commission and the education ministry, is scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
A senior education ministry official rejected the insinuation that the review is a political exercise as claimed by the Chinese embassy.
“The review is being conducted to understand the functioning of these institutes and syllabus… The review is being conducted from an academic perspective,” the official told Hindustan Times.