Posts Tagged ‘National Commission for Higher Education and Research’
A draft cabinet note for the creation of an overarching regulatory body in the higher education section has been prepared and circulated across ministries for consultations, Kapil Sibal, Union minister for human resource development, said at a press conference on Thursday, September 10, 2009. Sibal said the ministry would try and introduce the Bill for the creation of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) in the next session of Parliament. A task force to aid and suggest measures for setting up a regulatory body has also been set up.
NCHER is being set up on the recommendation of the Yash Pal committee. The committee, which was set up to suggest reforms in the higher education sector, had also recommended that the commission be a constitutional entity to ensure the absolute autonomy along the lines of the Election Commission of India. The suggestion has however been rejected by the Prime Minister’s Office, which has been studying the ministry’s proposal to amend the Constitution for setting up the regulatory body, saying the it should not be used for regulatory purposes. “It has been a setback because our report (on NCHER) wanted to leave no loopholes that would put the regulator at the risk of political influence,’’ a member of the Yash Pal committee said.
NCHER, once set up, will replace and subsume the University Grants Commission, the All India Council for Technical Education and the National Council for Teachers Education, which have thus far regulated the higher education sector in India. The HRD ministry had earlier proposed bringing a Bill to set up the NCHER after the Constitution was amended.
Source: PTI / Mint
The process of replacing the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) by the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) has commenced. The task of establishing a national testing scheme on the lines of GRE for university admission has also been initiated by the Government of India.
A task force, set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for the purpose, will also advise the government on the creation of 14 world class innovation universities. MHRD has already moved a concept note on the innovation universities and is seeking the views of stakeholders.
Parallel to the Bill being framed for the NCHER, the task force will oversee how the transition to the new regulatory body will take place. The task force consists of IIT-Madras Director M. Anandkrishnan, social scientist Mrinal Miri, Planning Commission member Sayeda Hamid, scientist Govardhan Mehta and a member of the Planning Commission to be inducted later. Hamid was named as a member of the task force in her individual capacity and not as member of Planning Commission.
The task force will advise the MHRD on how the interest of employees of the existing regulatory bodies can be protected and what the proposed NCHER should be like. The task force will also advise the government on the NCHER Bill. UGC employees have already begun protesting against the move to set up NCHER on the ground that they were not consulted by the Yashpal Committee that recommended winding up of UGC.
Another major issue before the task force will be to evolve the national testing scheme for college admission. To be based on the pattern of GRE, the test will be open to all the aspirants of university education. The test will be held more than once a year. Students would be permitted to send their best test score to the university of their choice. The national testing scheme was proposed by the Yashpal Committee on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has rejected the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry’s proposal to amend the Constitution for setting up the National Commission of Higher Education and Research (NCHER). The PMO has refused amending the Constitution for setting up an independent NCHER, which will take over the academic, accreditation and financial functions of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC) and National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).
Now, after the PMO’s refusal, a Bill for setting up the NCHER will be tabled in the Parliament. After the Parliament’s clearance, the NCHER will take over the regulatory bodies. “Making changes to the Constitution of India is an extreme step. Bringing an regulatory body into existence does not require a Constitutional amendment”, a PMO source said.
The HRD Ministry had suggested the scrapping of the AICTE, UGC and NCTE. These bodies, which oversee the functioning of universities and engineering and business schools in India, have often received flak for restrictive policies and sometimes opaque functioning.The move to setup an independent NCHER is based on the recommendations of a panel setup by the government to review the functioning of the UGC, established in 1956, and the AICTE, which came into existence in 1987.