Top priority for pending regulations: Tope

Unauthorised Institutions Bill to be discussed in next Cabinet meeting,vocational education another focus area.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published: February 27, 2012 2:07 am

The Unauthorised Institutions Bill,which aims at restricting the ad hoc mushrooming of illegal and unapproved institutes or courses in the state,will be placed before the next Cabinet meeting for approval. The proposal was withdrawn from the Cabinet last year as it was not clear on the definition of courses. There were demands that all departments related to education in the state should be covered in the Bill. The Chief Minister had also asked the higher and technical education department to seek the opinion of all departments that cover educational institutes.

Accordingly,a revised bill has been prepared by the higher education department.

“My priority for the 2012-13 academic year is to ensure that the bill is passed by the Cabinet. When institutes run programmes without proper permission of the regulatory authorities or when they give misleading information,it amounts to duping students,who end up suffering unnecessarily. Hence,it’s crucial to have measures and regulations in place so that we can take appropriate action against such erring institutes,” said Rajesh Tope,Minister for Higher and Technical Education. He said in the revised Bill,all departments related to education in Maharashtra,which includes medical,agriculture,dairy,fisheries and social welfare,have been put under its ambit. “It will cover institutions which come under other departments too and not just the higher and technical education department. The consent of the respective departments has been taken,” said Tope.

Similarly,a decision on the Maharashtra Self-Financed Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Act,2011,will be taken soon. It had taken a backseat owing to the civic polls.

“We hope to meet Governor K Sankaranarayanan in the coming week regarding the issue,” said Tope. Though the Act was approved by the Cabinet last year,it was opposed by many leaders who said it did not have provisions for social/caste reservations. A final decision on the matter and subsequently its implementation is thus pending.

The implementation of the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF),will be yet another priority area of the department this year.

“We will have to work out the modalities for implementing this programme. It’s an important project as it will give fillip to skill-based education and will enable vertical and horizontal mobility of students who are at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Tope.

Setting up a ‘Lalit Kala Vidyapeeth’ in the state,covering various skills such as dance,drama and music will also be a focus area. “The implementation of the various regulations and vocational educational will bring in the much required reforms in the higher education sector. Besides,the review and subsequent implementation of the Kakodkar committee recommendations for higher education will be yet another milestone for Maharashtra. The higher education budget,to be proposed by our department,could see a hike of only 10-20 percent over the 2011-12 academic year where the planned allocation was between Rs 375 crore and Rs 400 crore,” he said.

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