June 23, 2010

Education board for bringing medicine, law under regulator

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Saturday backed the inclusion of all fields, including medicine and law, under the proposed apex regulator for higher education in the country, despite resistance from the health and law ministries, official sources said.

A meeting of CABE, the highest advisory body on education, was held in the national capital and the recommendation to include all fields was made by the task force, which formulated the draft bill on the creation of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) - an overarching body which will oversee higher education.

'The CABE has confirmed the task force's recommendation of including medicine and law. All states in principle agreed to the structure of the draft,' a source in the human resource development (HRD) ministry said.

'There was no resistance in general on inclusion of medical or law education,' he said.

HRD Minister Kabil Sibal said: 'It is the recommendation of the task force...a final decision has to be taken by the government when the bill is submitted.'

The NCHER has been proposed to cover all streams of higher education. Medical and law education are out of the ambit of HRD ministry. The NCHER bill, however, proposes to include these streams in its ambit.

'It has become imperative that a holistic view of higher education is taken because of the increasingly converging nature of disciplines at the frontiers of emerging knowledge,' a statement submitted to CABE by the task force said.

Agriculture, being a state subject, has not been brought under the ambit of the HRD ministry but the task force has recommended the central government to consult states and take 'appropriate legal measures to bring agriculture within the ambit of NCHER'.

Following CABE's deliberations, the bill now awaits recommendations from some states. Once these recommendations are submitted, the task force will finalise the draft for government approval.

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