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Updated: March 16, 2010 14:24 IST

NCHE will be apex body: Purandeswari

Special Correspondent
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Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari.
The Hindu Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari.

The NCHE was being constituted at the recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission and a suggestion made in the Yashpal Committee report. The Bill for NCHE formation might be placed before Parliament in May or June.

The regulatory bodies of higher education such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will not be dismantled after the constitution of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and they will be made subservient to it, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari said on Sunday.

Ms .Purandeswari, who was here to address the 20th annual convocation of Kuvempu University, was talking to journalists.

Commission's advice

The NCHE was being constituted at the recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission and a suggestion made in the Yashpal Committee report. The Bill for NCHE formation might be placed before Parliament in May or June.

Ms. Purandeswari said another important recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission was that universities have a limited number of colleges affiliated to them — ranging from 70 to 100 — so that they could coordinate with them in a better way to ensure quality education.

Grant for varsities

The Union government was setting aside 6 per cent of the GDP as grant for the Central universities, and a substantial grant for State universities. “What is important is that the State governments should extend the matching grant to their universities.”

A major step

The Union government was according priority to higher education in the globalised scenario.

A major step in this direction was to allow the Central universities to adopt some of the State universities to improve the quality of teaching and overcome teacher shortage, which she put at 30 per cent.

It was proposed to beam seamlessly lectures by expert teachers of the Central universities to State universities.

With the introduction of the credit of marks and the semester systems, the mobility of students from one university to another was made easy. Study of sciences would be made equal across the country with the introduction of the core curriculum precise.

The States were not opposing the constitution of the NCHE; in fact, the collegium of the Central universities was happy over it, she said.

While there are nearly 500 universities, the National Knowledge Commission recommended that there be at least 1,500 new universities to meet the demands of higher education.

Quality teachers

Asked about some States, including Karnataka, laying more emphasis on primary education than on higher education, Ms. Purandeswari said: “We need quality teachers trained by quality colleges to bring in quality teaching at primary education.”

As for primary education, she said it was decided to ensure that no child, aged 6-10, was denied education under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Ms. Purandeswari said the Board examinations for Std. X in the CBSE-affiliated schools were made optional to bring students under a constant evaluation in scholastic as well as non-scholastic activities.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University was planning to introduce community colleges to offer students passing out Std. XII a two- year skill development course.

“If they want, they can pursue the traditional courses through distance education,” she said.

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