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Lack of progress in clearing higher education laws disappointing: Raju

May 14, 2013

HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju on May 10 expressed his “disappointment” over lack of progress in clearing the pending legislations on higher education, blaming it on repeated disruptions in the Parliament.

Raju said the reason for him being more “disheartened” was because he had reached out to Leader of Opposition in both the Houses and they were “willing to cooperate”.

He, however, said the ministry is exploring other alternatives like implementing some of the reform measures through executive orders as the legislations pertain to the future of students.

As many as 10 key legislations – which include Education Tribunal Bill, National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher educational Institutions Bill, Higher Education and Research Bill and Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutes Bill – are stuck in Parliament for over a year now.

While these legislations seek to address issues confronting higher education sector, Raju referred to the set of regulations notified by both UGC and AICTE on matters of accreditation and checking of unfair practices in higher educational institutes.

On whether the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) approved by the government on May 9 subsuming other bodies engaged in this initiative will impact the Ministry’s own programme, he replied in negative.

Whatever the ministry is doing now, those schemes will continue. NSDA will enforce standards needed of the training programme as per industry requirements.

HRD Ministry has launched National Vocational Education Qualification Framework, which seeks to impart vocational education at the school level itself.

On his six-day US visit, starting on May 13, Raju said the talks will focus on higher education and development of community colleges in India.

The US has a very healthy, vibrant and strong network of community colleges which responds to the local needs, he said.

On whether he would raise the apprehensions among Indian students about issues related to visas and work permit especially, after the Boston bombing incident, Raju said, “I would be touching on issues which are of our concern.” 

The minister has also been invited by the Temple University, Philadelphia, to receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honaris Causa, at the varsity’s 126th commencement exercises on May 16. 

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