Educationists, including former NCERT chief under Atal Bihari Vajpayee government Prof J S Rajput, have written to Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani alleging that Council of the apex teacher education regulatory body — National Council of Technical Education (NCTE) — is packed with Left leaning experts hailing from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University’s Central Institute of Education (CIE) and this is influencing policy matters with possible serious consequences.
Incidentally, the non-official members of the Council that have been referred to in the letter include Prof Krishna Kumar, former chairperson of NCERT who replaced Rajput when the UPA came to power in 2004. Kumar is credited with undoing the saffronisation of textbooks that was said to have been effected under Rajput.
In a letter dated June 9 and addressed to Irani, it has been said that “things have begun to slide backwards in teacher education’ ever since the UPA government last year reconstituted the NCTE and gave ‘disproportionate representation’ to those from JNU and DU among non-official members of the Council. “These non-official positions are meant to ventilate the views of professional teacher educators from the various segments and geographical locations of India. Our sense is that instead last year the Council was constituted deliberately in a skewed manner with disproportionate representation from people without professional qualifications in teachers education, those with affiliations to one or two institutions in Delhi,” says the letter.
The non-officials members of the NCTE Council also include Prof Poonam Batra of DU’s CIE, Prof Padma Sarangpani of the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Prof Janaki Ranjan of Jamia Millia Islamia, among others. Signed by Rajput, former NCTE vice-chairperson B K Passi, among others, the letter says this Council is pushing through major revisions in the NCTE regulations that could “change the very DNA of teacher education profession”.