Proposed national education body gets PM's support

Proposed national education body gets PM's support

The Ministry made a presentation before the Prime Minister on August 28 on the proposal for a National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER).
The presentation was made by Higher Education Secretary R P Agrawal in the presence of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

Officials said the Prime Minister was inclined to the proposal and even suggested setting up a task force to coordinate among states and other wings of the government for setting up the commission.

As per the proposal, the NCHER will subsume the existing regulatory bodies like University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Distance Education Council (DEC) and National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE).

The concept of NCHER was recommended by a government-appointed committee on “Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education” headed by Prof Yashpal. As per the proposal, the NCHER will act as a apex regulatory body in the field of higher education in India and create an enabling environment for universities to become self-regulatory bodies.

It will be the premier advisory body to the Central and state governments on policy issues on higher education. The proposed body will prepare and present a report on the state of higher education in India every year to Parliament.

The Yashpal committee has suggested that the proposed body will serve as a think tank on higher education policy in the country and provide a vision on higher education to be reflected in the curriculum framework, set benchmarks for universities and compare institutions globally.

The proposed commission will create norms, processes and structures for ensuring quality and accreditation of universities. It will establish transparent norms for entry and exit of of institutions. The NCHER will develop mechanism for funding for universities and other institutions. It will provide the mechanism for a national database on higher education.

Besides, the commission will create an environment in academic institutions that will encourage young people to take up academia as a career.