AICTE criteria not suited to promoting high standards:Pitroda to PM

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New Delhi, Nov 13 (UNI) Disapproving the All India Council of Technical Education(AICTE) criteria for assessing the quality of higher management institutions, Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up an Independent Standing Committee for the purpose.

''We need new standards... as we need new wave of management institutions which will focus on entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation to launch India into the global arena,'' Mr Pitroda said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

It is reported that certain recommendations of the Commissions like constitution of an Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education have not found favour with some ministries, especially Arjun Singh headed Human Resource Development Ministry as it would cut into the powers of bodies like the UGC and AICTE.

Laying stress on ''good governance rather than the a priori control being exercised by AICTE'', he said the current regulatory regime focusses on punitive rather than on nurturing the institution.

The Standing Committee, to be set up under the suggested Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education, would stipulate grading norms and nominate independent rating agencies to assess and categorise Management Education Entities (MEEs), he said.

Its main role would be to exercise due diligence at the point it approves a licence to grant degrees and diploma.

The Standing Committee would assess the academic credibility and financial viability on the basis of information submitted in accordance with stipulated criteria. It would apply the same norms to public, private and national and international institutions.

Mr Piroda said these suggestions have emerged out of the findings of the Working Group of experts from the industry and the academia appointed by the Commission.

The Commission has also suggested improving access to education based on work experience and educational loans.

It also wants the management education to be sensitive to the country's unique socio-cultural institution by including India specific case studies in the curriculum, reflecting its diversity and incorporating traditional wisdom.

The Commission has also recommended a Board of Governors for all MEEs, consisting of 50 per cent independent members as there are in the independent directors under the company law.

UNI

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