Action on Yashpal panel report in 100 days: Sibal

Report against nod for deemed varsities; GRE-like test on the anvil

Action on Yashpal panel report in 100 days: Sibal

 Terming the report as a roadmap for the Centre to initiate reforms in higher education, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said it would be considered for implementation within the next 100 days.

“Inclusive and excellent quality education is every child’s right and we are committed to that issue,” he said after accepting the report from Yashpal, the committee chairman.
“We have asked the Centre to keep on hold the approval of the new deemed-to-be-universities till the performance, admission and fee structure of the existing institutes are reviewed,” G Mehta of the Indian Institute of Science, who is also a member of the high-level committee, told Deccan Herald here after the report’s submission. 

The 43-page final report recommended that deemed varsity status be abandoned and that all deserving deemed varsities be either converted into full-fledged universities or scrapped and a GRE-like test be evolved for admission.

Accreditation norms

Existing institutes should be given three years to develop as universities and fulfill the prescribed accreditation norms. Karnataka has 18 institutes that have deemed varsity status. Apart from recommending setting up a seven-member Commission for Higher Education and Research (CHER), it also suggested doing away with multiple regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and Medical Council of India (MCI).

“We have suggested that bodies like AICTE or MCI can restrict themselves to formulating guidelines for giving licences to doctors, engineers or MBAs while the task of formulating curriculum, giving approval to new institutes and programmes should be handled by the CHER,” M Anandakrishnan, Chairman of IIT-Kanpur, told Deccan Herald.

While CHER would have to be brought into existence by an Act of Parliament the position of chairperson of the proposed commission would be analogous to that of election commissioners to avoid the exertion of political influence.

IITs and IIMs should be encouraged to diversify and expand their scopes to work as full-fledged universities.

The proposed CHER, the report said, should first identify India’s 1,500 top colleges for upgradation as universities and then create clusters of potentially good colleges to evolve as universities. Also, all levels of teacher education should be brought under the purview of higher education.

Of the seven members of the proposed CHER, one should be an eminent professional from industry. Chairperson and members should be selected by a committee headed by the PM, leader of opposition and the chief justice of India.

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