The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) on Saturday broadly endorsed setting up of the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) as an apex/ regulatory body, entrusted with framing policy, and to bring within its ambit, medical education and other disciplines of higher education and research.

Though/ there was general consensus at the 57th meeting of the CABE – the highest advisory body to Centre and States on education – it was decided that the State governments and other members could send in written comments and suggestions within four weeks to enable the task force on NCHER to finalise the draft of the Bill, which would then be presented to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) for consideration . This was done in response to some States expressing apprehension that the move would ``infringe'' upon their autonomy .

``The task force members will include the minutes of the meeting in their final draft and appropriately place it before the authorities. I hope the task force members who were present at meeting would have taken note of it,'' Union Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, said .

There is a turf war going on between the HRD Ministry and other Ministries over bringing all disciplines of higher education within the purview of NCHER. While, Union Health and Family Welfare is reluctant to part with medical education, the Law Ministry and the Bar Council of India is opposed to the idea of giving away legal education. Agriculture being State subject will need Constitutional amendment to be brought under the NCHER.

The proposal on National Academic Depository Bill 2010, for the creation and maintenance of a national electronic database of academic records and awards, also received a nod at the meeting. It will now be sent to the Cabinet for approval and placed before Parliament in the monsoon session, Mr Sibal said.

On implementation of the Right to Education, the states expressed some practical problems and demanded that the Centre share at least 90 per cent of the cost. ``I told the States that while sharing pattern was yet to finalised, it would not be possible for the Centre to bear 90 per cent of the cost. However, the concerns have been taken note of,'' the minister added.

The CABE also endorsed the implementation of a core-curriculum in science, mathematics, and commerce by all higher secondary boards in the country from academic session 2011-12.

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