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Plan panel for pvt edu firms

The Planning Commission has an idea, which it feels will change the way you see higher education in the country.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 01:19 IST

The Planning Commission has an idea, which it feels will change the way you see higher education in the country. It revolves around increased participation of private players — education companies, as the commission calls them.

In the concept paper for the Eleventh Plan, which starts from the next financial year, the commission has suggested that things be made easier for education providers (registered societies and companies) interested in opening institutions of higher education.

Instead of running around for approvals from the government and regulatory bodies, education providers will only need to get a grade from a grading authority to stipulate fee and infrastructure before starting admitting students. “Allow free entry of registered societies and education companies subject to their getting graded,” the concept paper says.

The commission feels in such an unrestricted education scenario, strict grading is essential to deliver quality education.

For the job, the government should bring in grading authorities, which will be governed by strict regulations.

“Introduce a law to allow the setting up of private education testing, teacher certification and school/college grading organisations,” the commission says.

Officials say the law will ensure that grading is uniform and done in right earnest, as the fee structure of an institution will depend on the grade it gets.

For foreign universities, the commission feels the government should adopt a “semi-restrictive approach” — depending on each university’s global grading. Entry of A-grade universities should be free. B-grade universities should be registered and get local grading like domestic universities. For the C-grade universities, the suggestion is prior approval and tight regulation, like the HRD Ministry’s plan for all foreign universities.

The concept paper will be discussed with HRD Ministry officials next month when sub-groups for the Five Year Plan are formed.