Yashpal panel likely to submit final report today

One recommendation could be to do away with UGC and AICTE

Yashpal panel likely to submit final report today

One of the recommendations the panel is likely to make is setting up of a Higher Education Commission which would serve as a single window for controlling all aspects of college and university education across the country.

“The tenure of our committee is supposed to end this month and we will be submitting the report to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday,” former UGC chairperson Yashpal, who heads the panel, told Deccan Herald.

The interim report, which was submitted in March, had stirred a hornet’s nest after it suggested scrapping of regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and setting up a Higher Education Commission to monitor all aspects of higher education.

The recommendation had evoked a sharp reaction from the UGC and the AICTE with their chairpersons demanding a thorough feasibility study before a final decision was taken.
The committee has also criticised the UPA government’s policy of setting up IIMs and IITs indiscriminately, saying that mere numerical expansion, without any understanding of symptoms of poor education, would not help.

Nervous response

Terming the government’s indiscriminate establishment of educational institutes as a “nervous and hurried response”, the panel said in its report: “Creation of a few institutions of excellence and some Central universities, without addressing the issue of deprivation that the state-funded universities are suffering from, would only sharpen the existing inequalities.”

Maintaining that the mode of transmission of knowledge to the students was quite poor in terms of pedagogic quality, the experts said that the manner in which the acquisition of knowledge by the student was evaluated was even poorer and simply encouraged learning by rote.

Identifying the disjoint between teaching and research as a serious malaise, the report said, on the one hand, most of the universities have been reduced to the status of centres that teach and examine masses and, on the other, more and more elite research bodies were being created, where researchers have absolutely no occasion to engage with young minds.

The committee found that many private educational institutes in the country deny full salaries to their teachers and indulged in “unethical practices” of impounding certificates and passports of its faculty.

With respect to the fee structure, the committee said many private institutions charged exorbitant fees, beyond the prescribed norms and were unable to provide even minimum competent faculty strength.

The committee favoured all private institutions to get accredited from a national accreditation system before being given university status.

An institution working with the motive of profit did not have the right to be called a university, the committee felt.

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