In a bid to promote international quality education in the country, the Narendra Modi government is all set to launch a new programme to build 20 world-class institutions. The Human Resource Ministry has drafted the regulation for the same and has also got an approval from the Expenditure Finance committee. As per a report by Indian Express, the HRD ministry is even ready with the Cabinet note and reportedly the proposal was slated for its approval last week. However, the agenda item was not taken up at the last minute. The reason behind the same is still not clear, but it is being indicated that the ministry might be asked to make some alteration in the proposal.
Earlier this year, the Prakash Javadekar-led HRD Ministry decided to name these institutes as ‘Institutes of Eminence’, however no further details on the same were rolled out. As per an India Today report which came out last year, a meeting was held between the HRD ministry, PMO and Niti Aayog following which the Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi stated that allowing freedom to a selected few institutes might appear discriminatory to other centrally funded institutes.
Later making some recommendations into the proposal Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had written to PMO seeking changes in the draft UGC (University Grant Commission) regulations. The proposed regulation known as UGC (Declaration of Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines was aimed at building 20 world-class institutes for both private and public institutes, the report added further.
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Kant, in his letter, had said that these world-class institutes should leverage autonomy and should not be regulated under country’s professional councils such as All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Medical Council of India (MCI), and Architecture Council of India (ACI).
However, the HRD ministry later opined that Kant’s recommendations seeking freedom from regulating councils would require several changes in the amendments of 15 different council acts.