The State government has expressed reservations about certain provisions in the Higher Education Commission of India, proposed by the Centre to replace the University Grants Commission.

While there is need to focus on providing in-service training to teachers working in institutions at different levels, the provisions in the proposed bill are likely to impact the autonomy of the universities. Some of the clauses incorporated in the bill are aimed at centralising appointments at different levels and deny States their due rights on administration of the institutions of higher learning, Deputy Chief Minister (Education) Kadiyam Srihari said.

Mr. Srihari, who received communication from the Centre seeking the States’ views on the proposed higher education commission held elaborate discussions with vice-chancellors of the universities and senior officials of the department.

‘Wrong signals’

He felt that the recent appointments of vice-chancellors to some universities by the Centre had scope for sending wrong signals in the education sector.

The proposed reforms by the Centre envisaged more powers to bureaucrats rather than educationists and experts which was not in the interests of the sector. The NDA government at the Centre had gradually brought down the quantum of allocations to the institutions of higher learning over the past four years and no steps had been initiated to fill the huge number of posts lying vacant in different universities. Moreover, the government had appointed a commission to recommend changes in the existing pattern of education to ensure that the country competed globally. “Even before the commission has finalised its recommendations, the Centre had come up with the idea of the new commission which will be of little help,” he said.

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