Vice-Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, PM Bhargava, has proposed radical changes to the education system — most of which are at variance with the HRD ministry’s views.
To start with, Bhargava advocated a common school system by setting up a national-level School Regulatory Authority and winding up the Central Board of School Education and the Indian School Certificate Board.
In his paper presented at a seminar organised by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) on Tuesday, Bhargava also asked the ministry to recall its order asking states to implement the Right to Education Bill, saying it was the Centre's "responsibility".
He said the management of all government schools should be with local panchayats and private schools should be under strict watch to check profiteering.
On the present school curriculum, Bhargava said the emphasis should be on acquiring "knowledge" rather than "skills" for the job market. English should be taught from class I, along with the regional language. Students should get a chance to reappear in exams in case they fail to clear them and should also assess the performance of their teachers, he said.
Predicting that India will need 3,000 universities with each having not more than 10,000 students, Bharagava proposed to convert good private or public colleges into universities.
He also said that instead of the University Grants Commission or the All India Council of Technical Education, there should be an autonomous higher education regulatory authority.
Bharagava also recommended a national test on the lines of ETS of Princeton before students get into higher education institutes.
Others academics like R Govinda, Anil Sadgopalan, HP Dikshit and MS Yadav asked the government to revise its policies.