Stricter laws mooted to deal with fake universities

July 24th, 2008 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Concerned over mushrooming of fake universities and dubious institutes across the country, the government plans to amend the existing law to make it stricter, Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh said here Thursday. “We understand that there is a need to impose heavy monetary penalty and strict action against such institutions,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day state education ministers’ conference, which concluded Thursday.

Singh said the government would soon amend the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Act and make it more viable and efficient. At present, the institutes violating the norms for approval are fined up to Rs.1,000.

The AICTE is the regulator for technical institutions in India.

Singh added that the states have agreed to take action against fake universities and dubious institutes.

The AICTE this month served notices to over 169 institutes for partnering foreign universities and for conducting unauthorised technical courses, without its approval. This included some of the big names in the private education sector.

States have also agreed to bifurcate existing big universities in order to bring down the number of affiliated colleges to manage them efficiently.

States have also agreed to set up State Councils of Higher Education and have endorsed the need to share 25 percent of costs for setting up internet connectivity. But the northeast states said they would be able to bear only 10 percent of the costs.

Most of the states were enthusiastic about following public-private partnership (PPP) model in the higher and technical education. But they added that the PPP model should not deny access to technical education to the poor sections of society.

State governments also agreed to introduce reforms in examination system, introduction of semester system, streamlining of admission procedures and introducing credit system, besides eliminating ragging.

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