Bihar’s apex higher education body set to get its vice chairman after 18 months
The position had remained vacant for over one and half years since the term of Jha, the first vice chairman of the SHEC, had ended on March 28, 2019.Updated: Sep 24, 2020, 17:35 IST
Ahead of assembly election, Bihar has filled another key position for higher education. Prof Kameshwar Jha is tipped for his second term at the Bihar State higher education council (BSHEC), said an official of the education department.
The position had remained vacant for over one and half years since the term of Jha, the first vice chairman of the SHEC, had ended on March 28, 2019. Education minister happens to be the ex-officio chairman of the apex higher education body in the state.
The file was sent to Governor Phagu Chauhan on Wednesday and now the government would notify it after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s signature. According to sources, the names of the members of the BSHEC was discussed at a meeting chaired by the CM.
BSHEC is a mandatory requirement under the Rashtriya Uchchatara Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) and improve quality. All the finds under RUSA, with centre-state sharing of 60:40, are routed to the state institutions through the BSHEC.
Jha, who has also penned two books on Bihar’s transformation due to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ‘good governance’ model, will get a second term in view of the new provision in the BSHEC Act, 2018, which was notified by the Governor in January this year after a long wait of another one and half years.
The bill had been passed by the Bihar Assembly in March 2018. As per the Act, the maximum age for the appointment of vice chairman shall be 75 years and shall have tenure of five years.
BSHEC is responsible for undertaking planning and evaluation, apart from other monitoring and capacity building functions. It also has the responsibility of timely and accurate data collection and maintenance of the management information system (MIS).
BSHEC comprises principal secretaries of the departments of education, finance, industry, science & technology, finance, industry health, besides directors of higher education, science and technology and UGC secretary or his nominee as members.
From the academic side, it has five members nominated by the state government representing the fields of arts, science and technology, culture, civil society, industry/vocational skill development, three state government-nominated vice chancellors, including those of central universities in the state, and two members not below the rank of professor nominated by the state government.
Though BSHEC has been functional in the State since 2014, it will need to work more effectively now in view of state government’s emphasis on improving quality and enrollment in higher education and the strict guideline for funding under the Centre’s flagship Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Mission (RUSA), which has been linked to performance and accreditation from the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC).
SO far, just six universities and 60-65 colleges could avail RUSA funds due to the strict parameters required for it despite the resource constraints faced by most institutions.