The HRD ministry is considering a demand of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for granting it ‘Institute of National Importance’ status so that it can confer degrees and start a range of courses on teaching.
Speaking at the the 56th Foundation Day of the organisation, where Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha was present, NCERT Director Hrushikesh Senapaty said that “its regional institute were affiliated to different state universities which created difficulties.”
Citing an instance, he said that one of the regional institutes under NCERT could not introduce semester system because it was not in line with the norms of the University it was affiliated to.
Senapaty said that NCERT has recently sent a proposal to the HRD ministry seeking granting of Institution of National Importance status so that it can confer degrees and start a range of innovative courses.
Speaking after Senapaty, Kushwaha promised that the HRD ministry would look into the issue of providing degree granting powers and try to resolve the problems.
Premiere institutes like IITs and IISc etc have been granted ‘Institute of National Importance’ status by Acts of Parliament which allows them to confer degrees.
The NCERT chief also sought that there should be one Regional Institute of Education in every state to meet the needs of quality in teachers’ training.
Later, Senapaty told reporters that NCERT can run a variety of specialised programmes ranging from education technology to textbook and curriculum designing to teaching special children but finds it difficult under the present framework.
“All our institutes are affiliated to state universities and have to run programmes only as per their guidelines. Therefore often we are not in a position to run innovative programmes,” he said.
Senapaty said that a committee headed by Govardhan Mehta had recommended ‘Institute of National Importance status’ for NCERT and after approval of the Executive Council, a proposal was submitted to the HRD ministry a couple of months back.
Senapaty also said that the NCERT will now be conducting National Assessment surveys for all classes till standard VIII from this year.
He, however, added that these surveys will be on “experimental basis” in the Union Territories first and then later expand to all areas of the country.
Till now, he said, the Assessment surveys were being held for classes III, V, VIII and X once every three years.
“From this year we are planning to hold them for all classes till class VIII,” Senapaty said.
He also said that work is being done to prepare e-content for all school textbooks.