Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UGC disagrees with Yashpal Committee report

Three months after the Yashpal Committee gave its report and the government having already moved forward to create the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said the panel’s “recommendations do not appear to be in accordance with the thinking of the framers of our Constitution”. UGC has also said that the committee “missed the historic opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review of the higher education system, and of the functioning of UGC which is overdue since the report of the education commission (1964-66)”.

Asked for his comments, UGC Chairman Sukhdeo Thorat, who was a member of the Yashpal Committee, said, “It is a confidential communication to the ministry. I have been advised not to talk.” UGC employees have been protesting against the creation of NCHER asking what will happen to them once the new body comes into being. UGC’s comments sent to HRD ministry late last week and accessed by the leading national daily, The Times of India, not only finds fault with the way the committee dealt with its terms of reference but also the methodology adopted and the concept of NCHER and the powers proposed to be given to it.

Agreeing that higher education needs reform, UGC says, “Creation of a single regulatory authority by subsuming the existing regulatory bodies, as suggested by the committee, does not appear to be the only viable alternative.” On the methodology, UGC points out that the full committee met only twice, “a period too short for any committee to document a full discourse on the evolving deliberations”. UGC also said that the committee held consultations with a select group of stakeholders and bypassed an empirical study of the higher education system. It also said that no discussion took place with the regulatory bodies. UGC has specially pointed out that “it was entitled to have interaction with the members of the committee but this was somehow not undertaken by the committee.”

Disagreeing with the concept of NCHER, UGC has given two alternatives. One, create an inter-coordination council of higher education of all bodies, while retaining all the present regulatory bodies with necessary reforms in their regulatory framework. Two, reform UGC with a governing body comprising a full-time chairman with members from various streams. It should also have a governing council consisting of chairpersons of other regulatory bodies and state higher education councils.

Source: The Times of India (The news item is by Akshaya Mukul)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive