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NUEPA - Not Business - To Guide India's Education

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Amid assertions that Indian education must be led by professional-- not business-- considerations, an institute of education planning and administration ''matured'' this evening into a National University of Educational Planning and Administration.

Announcing the emergence of NUEPA, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh stressed efforts to ensure that gaining knowledge does not remain an uphill task for those at the lowest rung.

The NUEPA takes off from what has been known as NIEPA, a premier institute of its kind in Asia, engaged in capacity building and research in educational planning and administration.

Its goals: building sustainable capacity in planning and management at all levels, generating knowledge through research and extension, disseminating knowledge both within and across nations and preparing certified professionals.

The event was addressed among others by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubati Purandareswari and NUEPA's Chancellor, former Education Secretary Sudeep Bannerjee.

Declaring that access with equity has to remain ''our primary objective,'' Singh urged NUEPA to use empirical and innovative ways so that excellence and merit embrace those out of orbit.

Singh released Report Cards on the nation's million plus primary and upper primary schools produced under the District Information System for Education, developed by NIEPA.

Singh, who also released a Logo for NUEPA, said given the new status, it now faced new frontiers and challenges, including turning India's deprived sections into her real resources.

Speaking on the occasion, Purandareswari said education was not a goal by itself but a powerful facilitator for social change. She spoke of higher spending on education and such challenges as secondary education and spread of literacy.

Bannerjee underscored the need that professionals lead the education sector and business considerations not disturb the nation's educational objectives.

Noting that business forces were trying to control the discourse on what education should be like, he asserted that the education planning could not be left to such forces.

He indicated that NUEPA hoped to emerge as a think-tank in education sector.

Higher Education Secretary R P Agrawal and School Education Secretary Champak Chatterjee suggested some tasks for NUEPA-- finding ways to mobilise resources or studying potential for an Indian Education Service.


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