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States oppose national panel for higher education and research

BS Reporter 

The governments of Bihar, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have opposed the setting up of a national over-arching regulatory mechanism for higher education.

The Higher Education and Research (HE&R) Bill, 2011, intends to create a National Commission for Higher Education & Research (NCHER) for determination, coordination, maintenance and continued enhancement of standards of higher education and research. Existing regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council (DEC) would be subsumed in NCHER. However, the regulatory bodies in the fields of medicine and law would retain the powers to set minimum standards for medical and legal education leading to professional practice.

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), in 2010 , discussed the draft Higher Education and Research (HE&R) Bill, which seeks to establish a national over-arching regulatory body in higher education. While there was a general consensus on the need to establish an over-arching regulatory body at the apex level, CABE decided to ask state governments and others to send their written comments and suggestions which would be taken into consideration, before the draft Bill was finalised by the Central Government. All states were accordingly addressed and comments and suggestions on various provisions of the Bill were received from 18 states.

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First Published: Wed, March 06 2013. 22:28 IST