Regulate Technical Education to prevent racketeering: MoS

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (UNI) A regulatory framework to prevent ''racketeering'' was stressed by the government tonight as experts recommended ways to develop technical education in India allowing private players.

''Subject to this,'' Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandeswari told a conference, ''we should have no inhibition to allow private players.'' In her valedictory address to the national conference on Development of Technical Education in India, Purandeswari noted how private institutions have come up over the past two decades with the emergence of market economy.

India currently has a large number of private technical institutions, not all of which observe standards set by the All India Council for Technical Education. Critics have called for better enforcement of norms.

The conference produced a set of nearly 60 recommendations aimed at expanding technical education facilities, ensuring relevance, quality, excellence as well as inclusiveness.

It is imperative, Purandeswari said, that a regulatory framework is put in place so that there is no commercialisation of education and also there is effective prevention of racketeering and exploitation.

''Subject to this, we should have no inhibition to allow private players to function in the country with a reasonable degree of autonomy and freedom for providing quality education.

''We need to draw up proper regulatory guidelines for the private sector, to ensure the quality of higher education,'' Purandeswari said.

''It is, therefore important that we develop effective regulatory framework for the private universities, particularly in terms of their admission, fees, teaching-learning process and governance.

''We must ensure that in the name of regulating the private institutions, we desist from making any attempt for controlling them,'' Purandeswari said.

''All we should do is to remove the bureaucratic shackles which lead to the undermining (of) initiative and independence of private players,'' she said.

Higher Education Secretary R P Agrawal suggested allowing reputable foreign Educational Institutions-- not 'fly by night' operators-- in India for collaboration as per AICTE guidelines University Grants Commission Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat spoke of raising enrolment from 10 per cent now to 15 per cent during the 11th Plan-- bearing in mind the need for quality and relevance.

Participants included acting AICTE Chairman R A Yadav and Vice Chancellors of Technical Universities and Deemed Universities and Directors of key technical schools.

The conference opened yesterday with a call to minimise the gaping regional imbalance which afflicts Engineering education facilities in India.

Here are some of the recommendations: -- Develop professional skilled manpower; -- Develop faculty by raising retirement age, setting up UGC Pay Commission, revamping of academic Staff Colleges, implementing expert findings; -- Introduce e-governance in AICTE; -- Re-think faculty salary structure; -- Ensure that the desiring and deserving are not deprived of access to quality education; -- Hardly 25 per cent Indian engineering graduates are employable; -- Study placement track record after 10 to 15 years of graduation; -- Curriculum quality and updating; -- Private promoters may take care of running expenses; -- Use same infrastructure to conduct graduate engineering courses during day and diploma programme in evenings; -- Encourage polytechnics to run two shifts to accommodate more students; -- Regularise part time MTech courses run by private institutions; and -- Institute Interface including Public Private Partnership UNI

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