The HRD ministry will bring in a “graded regulatory mechanism” as part of key reforms in the University Grants Commission (UGC) to usher in greater transparency, freedom and autonomy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Sunday.
The HRD minister also announced that ‘SWAYAM’, an open web based platform from which 2000 courses will be run for students across the country, will be launched next month . Referring to the Union Budget 2017, Javadekar said that it reflects the government’s vision of raising quality in the education sector, which has got additional funds this time to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore.
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He said that as per the Right to Education Act, learning outcomes are being defined and will be part of the coming academic session. Another initiative is an innovation fund of Rs 100 crore for schools which will be introduced in educationally backward districts, he said.
He said a separate exam agency has also been announced which will conduct major exams, many of which are being conducted by an “overburdened” CBSE, he said. The CBSE’s main focus is to look after school education.
Speaking about UGC reforms, Javadekar said that thrust is to give more autonomy to good institutes and “monitor mid-level and monitor more those in the lower rungs”. “Everybody would be incentivised to go upwards,” Javadekar told reporters in Delhi.
Referring to the IIM Bill, which is expected to come up in the current Parliament session, Javadekar said it indicates the shape of things to come. He referred to SWAYAM which is a MOOCs platform and said that it would become what ATM is for money.
The HRD minister also referred to the announcement made in 2016 budget about creating 20 world class institutions, and said that consultations are complete and guidelines finalised. He said institutions would be asked to file applications and the process would start soon. They wold be know as institutions of excellence, Javadekar said.
Javadekar also said that the HRD ministry is working in a major way to bring reforms in teachers’ education. Asked about exceptionally high cut offs in some DU colleges, the HRD minister said that it is true that a situation has come where even after scoring 90 per cent students are disappointed and said that the issue will be looked into.
About the names for VC in Aligarh Muslim University, he said that the decision will be taken as per procedure. He was also asked about certain UGC regulations on admission in PhDs related to which some students were agitating in JNU. Javadekar said if required the students could come and meet him regarding their grievances.