National Commission for Higher Education & Research – A National overarching regulatory body in higher education proposed

The setting up of the national overarching regulatory mechanism for higher education was specifically opposed by the State Governments of Bihar, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. This information was given by Shri M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister for Human Resource Development, in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in 2010, the draft Higher Education and Research (HE&R) Bill, seeking to establish a national overarching regulatory body in higher education was discussed. While there was a general consensus on the need to establish an overarching regulatory body at the apex level, CABE decided to ask State Governments and others to send their written comments and suggestions which would be taken into consideration, before the draft Bill was finalized by the Central Government. All States were accordingly addressed and comments and suggestions on various provisions of the Bill were received from 18 States.

The Higher Education and Research (HE&R) Bill, 2011 intends creating the National Commission for Higher Education & Research (NCHER) for determination, coordination, maintenance and continued enhancement of standards of higher education and research. The existing regulatory bodies like University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council (DEC) would be subsumed in NCHER. However, the regulatory bodies in the fields of medicine and law would retain the powers to set minimum standards for medical education and legal education leading to professional practice.

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