Findings and Recommendations of PSC on Education Sector

Findings and Recommendations of PSC on Education Sector

News: The Parliamentary Standing Committee carried out a review of education standards, accreditation process, research, examination reforms and academic environment in India’s higher education institutes.

Key Findings:
• The higher education department of the Union ministry of Education informed the committee that only 30% of the universities and 20% of the colleges are in the accreditation system. Less than 9,000 colleges out of a total of 50,000 colleges are accredited.
• Many deemed universities, in order to make quick money, have started Open Distance Learning courses undermining qualitative research work.
• Several state universities regularly fail to carry out assessments smoothly, often reporting instances like question paper leaks and rampant cases of copying.

Recommendations:
• Issues faced by NAAC and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), which recognises courses offered by higher education institutions, should be analysed and worked on.
• The norms for frequency and periodicity of the accreditations be defined so that institutions do not develop a tendency to carry the score for years without a review, which leads to complacency and undermines quality mechanisms.
• The committee recommends that the parameter of the institution’s exam management competency be also considered as a mandatory norm towards consideration of accreditation.
• It also suggested strict actions, including derecognition, for higher institutions involved in malpractices in collaboration with coaching centres. All universities and colleges must be scored on how foolproof their examinations are.
• To encourage more funding, it suggested ‘donations by individuals, alumni and institutions’ should be 100% tax deductible.
• It also noted that there was an urgent need to revisit and revamp the norms for starting online courses.
• With regard to Open Distance Learning courses, the committee strongly recommended adequate measures to curb such tendencies after carefully examining the options.

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