Sibal chalks out 100-day plan

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 27 2009, 04:30am hrs
Minister for human resources development, Kapil Sibal, in his first detailed press conference since assuming the portfolio, introduced a 100-day plan with key legislative and policy initiatives in primary, secondary and higher education.

Enacting the right to free and compulsory education and taking steps to have the bill passed in this parliamentary session are high on the governments agenda said Sibal. Reforms in the system of examination within secondary school education would be given high priority, according to the minister. Class X examinations would be optional and for students opting for vocational pursuits, there will be a method to bypass the exam system. This would be made possible by replacing the marks system with a grade system for Class IX and X, Sibal said.

The creation of independent governing agencies in primary, secondary and higher education which will not be confined by government interference or bureaucratic constraints, was mentioned bt Sibal in at least three cases. He also mentioned an independent accreditation agency for school education, which will initially start with CBSE schools and then expand. The intent would be to motivate schools to seek this accreditation, as it would reinforce their standards.

In higher education, under the legislative initiatives, Sibal referred to developing an overarching autonomous authority for higher education and research which would subsume several organisations such as the UGC, AICTE and MCI. The agency will be independent in formulating policy in higher education across streams such as engineering, law, medicine and will not necessarily be part of the MHRD. This intent juxtaposes the recommendation of the final Yashpal committee report presented on to the minister on June 24.