The State Government has begun the process of making appointments to the Karnataka State Higher Education Council constituted under Karnataka State Higher Education Council Act, 2010 which came into effect in this July.
The council is a new statutory body that will advise the Government, universities and educational institutions. It replaces the inter-university board which has become defunct.
A few days ago, the Government appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Tumkur University S.. Sharma as its vice-chairman in-charge and former Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University K.M. Kaveriappa as the Executive Director-cum-Member-Secretary of the council on full time basis. Mr. Kaveriappa took charge in Bangalore on Wednesday, official sources told The Hindu.
The Governor gave his assent to Karnataka State Higher Education Council Bill, 2010 on July 23, 2010. The Government published a notification to this effect in the Karnataka State Gazetteer on July 26, 2010.
With the constitution of the council, the Inter-University Board (IUB) ceases to exist.
According to the notification, the council will function as an interface among the Government, universities and other educational institutions. It should suggest guidelines for starting new universities and educational institutions. Evolving new concepts and visionary programmes for improving higher education is another important agenda of the advisory body. Monitoring the colleges and universities on implementing development works taken up with the assistance of the national regulatory bodies is another important task.
The notification said the council should create opportunities for training teachers and suggest steps to improve the quality of examinations. It should co-ordinate programmes of autonomous colleges and supervise their implementation; it should suggest steps to control excess admissions in universities and colleges; and promote new experiments on improving curriculum and syllabi of courses. It should propose guidelines for releasing grant to higher education institutes and suggest measures needed to the Government.
The Minister for Higher Education is the chairperson of the council. In addition to the vice-chairperson and the member-secretary, vice-chancellors of all State universities, including medical, technical, agriculture and other, are its members. The Government has to nominate 10 education experts as members to it. Besides, it will have 14 ex-officio members. The council has a six-member executive committee.
Official sources said the IUB functioned as an internal coordinating body of universities. It had limited scope for interacting with the senior government officials to sort out issues pertaining to higher education. However, its decisions were binding on the universities.
In case of the council, principal secretaries of eight departments, directors of three departments, secretary of Department of Law and Justice, Commissioner of Pre-University Board, are its members. It will have 10 education experts who are yet to be nominated. Once that is done, some pending issues are expected to be sorted out and new plans chalked out for improving higher education.