HRD minister Arjun Singh has proved to be an ally in shining armour for the Left government in West Bengal. In its hour of need, the minister has decided to regularise all B.Ed colleges in the state with retrospective effect.
The West Bengal High Court had recently declined recognisation to all Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree colleges in the state on the grounds of their non-affiliation to the national statutory body, National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE), and therefore deemed them unauthorised. The ruling had made many students studying in these colleges insecure about their future. Many of them had taken to the streets and demanded recognition to these colleges or some solution from the state government.
As the NCTE Act is a law enacted by Parliament and following its regulations is a statutory requirement for running all B.Ed colleges, the state government had no option but to turn to the HRD ministry for a solution. State education minister Kanti Biswas met Singh and urged him to regularise affiliation of these colleges. NCTE officials, who were present at the meeting, were asked to come up with a solution to the problem.
According to sources, NCTE has proposed a special amendment in the NCTE Act allowing affiliation of the institutes in West Bengal with retrospective effect. “There will be no compromise on the standards. Affiliation will be granted only after due inspection by our staff,” an official said, when asked about the amendment.
Sources say this is a bid to drop the clause that states that all B.Ed colleges are required to seek recognisation from the NCTE within six months of the Act coming into force. “It is a one-time exemption and will not be applicable to other states,” the official informed.
The NCTE has sent a draft proposal for amendment in the NCTE Act to the ministry.
Not committing whether an Ordinance will be issued, sources didn't rule out the possibility of introducing the Bill in the monsoon session. If that doesn't happen the government can issue an Ordinance, a source said, pointing that the ball is now in HRD ministry's court.