Due to new requirements imposed by the Indian government, Bulldogs in India will be canceled for this upcoming summer, the University announced Wednesday.
The new policies increase regulation of foreign education institutions operating in India and change visa requirements for professors and students, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs George Joseph said. The Bulldogs internship program must be reviewed to ensure that its offerings are consistent with the new requirements, a process that is projected to take at least three months, he said. As a result, the 2007 Bulldogs in India program will be canceled, University Career Services Director Philip Jones said.
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In addition, all Yale programs that send students to India will have to review their activities to make sure they adhere to Indian law and immigration rules, Joseph said.
In addition to reviewing individual programs, all faculty and students affiliated with foreign educational institutions must now have proper visas for work, research or study instead of simply a tourist visa. But students traveling to India independently will not be affected, Joseph said.
Joseph said the regulations are a response to substandard educational institutions operating in India because of the demand from a growing population. The government is now bringing regulations up to the standard of many other countries, including the United States, which already requires correct visas and proper accreditation, he said.
“The process has been going on for several years, but only recently has it come to affect Yale as we initiate more new programs in the country,” Joseph said in an e-mail from India. “It will be most definitely interesting to see how some of these issues play out over the next couple of years because they will have enormous consequences for access and operations in India by Yale and other foreign institutions.”
He said other schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Cornell universities, will be more affected than Yale because they have larger physical presences in India, including offices and research centers.
Jones said the Office of International Affairs was notified of the tightened regulations earlier this month, and UCS was told Tuesday that the review process would take too long for the New Delhi-based Bulldogs program to be feasible this summer.
“There’s no question that we are going to be properly regulated going forward in the future,” Jones said. “If they had told us in October, we would have had time [before summer].”
None of the eight Bulldogs in India positions had been filled, he said, so students considering the internships should still have backup plans.
International Education and Fellowship Programs director Barbara Rowe said IEFP and the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies will likely be awarding fellowship and grants for travel to India in the next few weeks. Although none of the IEFP-administered fellowships are awarded specifically for activities in India, she said, individual students may propose projects — such as research or volunteer work — in India. Fellowships promoting travel abroad include the Thomas C. Barry Travel Fellowships, the Kingsley Trust Association Summer Travel Fellowships and the Henry Hart Rice Foreign Residence Fellowships.
Jones said he is dismayed at the cancellation of the New Delhi program.
“I’m very disappointed for the students because they get excited about these opportunities, and they’re pulled away quite literally by circumstances not under our control,” Jones said.
Jones said he anticipates that Bulldogs in India will be reinstated for the summer of 2008.
Benjamin Siegel ’07, who used Yale-administered fellowships to travel to India during two summers, said the new regulation might cause students to consider travel to other countries in the area, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. But he said the cancellation of the Bulldogs program comes as a blow to Yale’s South Asian studies program.
“Since Yale’s trying to put a lot of emphasis on South Asia right now, it’s unfortunate that this is happening when a lot of resources are being pumped into the area,” he said.
International Bulldogs internship positions are still being offered in Accra, Ghana; Athens, Greece; Beijing; Brussels, Belgium; Budapest, Hungary; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Hong Kong; Kampala, Uganda; London; Madrid, Spain; Monterrey, Mexico; Montreal; Singapore; and Tokyo.