Monday, February 27, 2012

Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission a farce: Himachal CPI-M

The Himachal unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has called the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission, a body constituted by the State government to look into the functioning of private educational institutions including the scores of recently opened private universities, a complete farce. In a press release released in Shimla on Sunday, the party said the so-called Regulatory Commission serves the interests of the government only and that it has taken any action against the erring private universities and colleges. The party has said it is eyewash, as the meetings of the Regulatory Commission are chaired by the Chief Minister instead of its own Chairman.

The release says that is blatantly being subservient to the State government and that it has not penalised the private teaching shops, a majority of which are openly violating the educational norms. The party has alleged that some of these institutions are admitting students for professional degrees in Engineering and Management immediately after the 10th standard, even though the law clearly says that such courses can only be joined after the completing 12th standard in the State or elsewhere.

The CPI-M has demanded that the hefty fees charged from the students who were lured into applying for such courses should be reimbursed and they should also be compensated. It has also demanded an immediate ban on some institutions that are offering M.Phil and Ph.D degrees without having the adequate facilities and professors. The release says that they are in violation of Section 11 of the Educational Regulatory Commission Act which states that such institutions should be closed down if they do not meet the proper standards laid down by the government. The party has insisted on more responsive functioning by the Commission and less interference from the government.

The Left here has consistently opposed the privatisation and commercialisation of higher education by the incumbent BJP government. The Congress has supported such institutions when in power but has now also begun opposing the mushrooming of private universities in the hill State. “Though not opposed to privatisation we would re-evaluate the credentials of private universities when we come to power”, said former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a recent media interaction.

Source: The Hindu, February 27, 2012

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