HIGHER EDUCATION: States back Sibal

HIGHER EDUCATION: States back Sibal – an integrated approach to rout out corruption or monopolize power ?!!

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal - winning support ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

New Delhi, June 19: Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal today won himself the support of state governments in a silent battle waging within the Centre over the ambit of a proposed new overarching higher education regulator.

State education ministers told Sibal they were in favour of including medical and legal education under the proposed new regulator — a move being opposed by the central health and law ministries.

The support from state governments came at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education, India’s apex advisory body on education.

Officially, it is a panel of experts — and not the HRD ministry — which has proposed including medical and legal education under the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER). But the ministry is keen on the inclusion of all higher education streams under the NCHER.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has insisted on a separate regulatory authority for health-related education. The law ministry wants the Bar Council of India to continue governing legal education.

The support from the states strengthens the HRD ministry’s hands in convincing other arms of the government on accepting all streams of education under the NCHER.

But many state governments — Left-ruled Bengal and Kerala, BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Congress-ruled Haryana — expressed concerns over a controversial clause in the legislation to create the NCHER.

The latest draft of the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2010, retains a clause requiring state universities to obtain NCHER approval before starting operations, despite opposition. The states argue that this clause robs their legislatures of the authority to create their own varsities.

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