Finance Minister invites US Universities to start operations at IFSC, Gujarat

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday interacted with the representatives of 14 distinguished US universities and invited them to set up foreign universities and institutions at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

As of now, GIFT-IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India. Budget 2022-23 permitted setting-up of world-class foreign universities in Gandhinagar’s GIFT City, free from domestic regulations, to facilitate the availability of skilled manpower in the financial services space, the report said.

Finance Ministry tweeted, “recognising the inherent potential of the IFSC, the Budget announcement paved the way for allowing world-class foreign universities to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in @GIFTCity_IFSC.”

“Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman interacted via VC with several distinguished US universities to explore the opportunity of setting up foreign universities/institutions in @GIFTCity_IFSC, which was an announcement made in Union Budget 2022,” another tweet said.

The key advantages for US universities will include 100% foreign ownership with no restriction on repatriation of profits, no domestic law will apply, regulatory ease through unified regulator IFSCA, and opportunity to collaborate with Indian students, faculty and financial industry, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during the virtual meeting.

Additionally, she said that as IFSC acquires critical mass with the growing concentration of the financial services industry, demand for high quality human capital is expected to increase significantly. Foreign universities in IFSC could contribute towards addressing this demand, she said.

It is a win-win opportunity for the financial services industry as well as the foreign universities operating out of IFSC, and this can create an ideal global ecosystem for the development of skills needed in the future, she said.

Besides the Finance Minister, the meeting was also attended by Ambassador of India to the US Taranjit S Sandhu; Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran; and virtually by International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) Chairperson Injeti Srinivas. The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) is a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the IFSC in India.