Government to bring education reforms soon: Sibal (Lead)

June 24th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Stating that the government was committed to improve and reform education standards in India, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said Wednesday an apex panel on higher education will be formed soon.
The autonomous National Commission for Higher Education and Research, which will encompass in itself the existing professional councils and regulatory agencies, including the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Medical Council of India and the AICTE, will be formed within the first 100 days of the new government, Sibal told reporters.

The new education commission is a key recommendation of a government appointed committee headed by well known educationist Professor Yashpal that was formed to advise on renovation and rejuvenation of higher education in India.

“We will try and ensure the implementation of the Yashpal Committee report in 100 days. Whatever has to be done must be done today for an inclusive and quality education,” Sibal said.

Talking about the recommendations, Yashpal, who was present at the news conference, said: “We have done all we could. Making recommendations based on our past experiences with India’s education system. Right from what we saw in our childhood to now, we have tried to assess what was lacking.”

“We have tried to push for as much autonomy for institutions as possible. After that only we can ask for accountability,” Yashpal said.

The Yashpal Committee report suggests that instead of existing regulatory bodies like the UGC and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), universities should be made self-regulatory.

“Among the many challenges confronting students today is accessing easy loans and scholarships…one must realise that the IITs and IIMs can’t be just for the upper middle class,” Yashpal said.

“One can see that to get into any institution there is a very indirect approach. All middlemen must be removed and we have tried for that.”

Appreciating the report, Sibal said that it is a “road map for the education for the future of the country”.

“The Yashpal Committee has done extensive dialogue with all stakeholders, and it will thus be acceptable to the nation,” the minister said.

The committee submitted its interim report in March this year. The committee was set up in February 2008 with the mandate to study the functioning of various agencies in higher education and suggest measures to restructure the system of higher education.

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