In-principle nod to discard Class 12 marks

Higher Education Minister R. Bindu  

Higher Education Minister R. Bindu has said that the government has given in-principle approval to the proposal to discard 50% weightage for Class 12 marks for this year’s entrance examinations for admissions to engineering and pharmacy courses.

A final approval is awaited from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said Ms. Bindu, who participated in a meet-the-press programme here on Wednesday.

Seeking to allay concerns regarding distance education prospects, Ms. Bindu expressed optimism that the Sree Narayana Guru Open University (SNGOU) would receive Distance Education Bureau (DEB)’s approval in time to commence admissions by October. She, however, hinted that the government could permit private registrations and distance education courses in other State universities for another year to overcome a crisis.

She said the Higher Education Department intended to proceed with the selection of principals in government colleges in line with the regulations laid down by the UGC in 2018. The regulations, which mandated the constitution of selection committees for the purpose, had created a flutter with teachers’ organisations alleging they scuttled the seniority system.

Referring to the community reservation norms that had come under legal scrutiny following Kerala University’s appointment of 58 teachers, Ms. Bindu said the government intended to continue the system of treating all departments in a university as a single unit while applying reservation norms.

With the State targeting an increase in gross enrolment ratio from 37% to 75%, the government would increase seats for higher education courses by 10% (around 20,000) this year. The Minister said a commission would be formed to reform university laws and curriculum in tune with the changing times.

Thirty Centres of Excellence would be established to foster interdisciplinary learning. A search committee would be formed to bring accomplished academicians at the helm of such institutions. Elaborating on their potential, she said south India lacked centres for extensive learning and research in study areas such as pure science. The government hoped to institute an International Institute of Future Studies and a School of Knowledge Performance and Aesthetics as part of boosting cross-disciplinary research, Ms. Bindu said.

The Minister, who also holds the Social Justice portfolio, said all institutions would be made barrier-free to facilitate unimpeded movement for persons with disabilities. Facilities, including toilets, would be established for transgenders.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 11:48:46 PM |

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