Punjab govt plan to have regulator for pvt education institutes hits ‘pressure’ roadblock
The move to have a regulator came after repeated allegations from across quarters, that these universities have become “teaching shops”, producing “unemployable” workforce.Updated: Aug 01, 2017, 09:34 IST
The Punjab government’s move to set up a regulatory body to monitor education being provided in private institutes has once again hit roadblocks, purportedly owing to pressure by some influential groups and private universities, it is learnt.
As per information available with the Hindustan Times, private universities have joined hands to press the government for relaxing some norms suggested by a committee of the then secretary, technical education, KS Pannu and the then secretary, higher education, Anurag Verma. Both the IAS officers were transferred on June 24, merely three months after their appointment on these posts.
- Cap on fee and number of seats in every stream
- Regulatory body to have complete say in allotment of seats
- Checking of number of teachers and their basic qualifications
- Fixing eligibility for admissions, holding counselling and preparing wait lists
The draft proposed by Pannu and Verma submitted to the government in June first week, sources said, proposed to cap the number of seats in these universities and also set eligibility criteria for admissions. “Private universities opposed it tooth and nail and pumped in all resources to stop this draft from becoming reality,” an officer in the higher education said, on the condition of anonymity.
The move to have a regulator came after repeated allegations from across quarters, that these universities have become “teaching shops”, producing “unemployable” workforce.
“There are institutes that admit students even with re-appears in Class 12. Anybody can go and take admission in these institutes and this has led to the deterioration of quality of education in the state,” reads a portion of the draft submitted to the government, adding, “We need to regulate them keeping in view the infrastructure in these institutes and the strength and standard of teachers.”
In a bid to have this scuttled, a group from Doaba region has led the delegations of private universities in meetings at different levels of the government “by using direct connection with those who matter”, sources said.
However, there are private colleges — not universities — that are, in fact, keen that the regulator is set up with immediate effect. “We really don’t have any threat from the body as already the colleges are being supervised by different bodies. We have technical varsities to monitor private institutes and cap seats; and the same exists for agriculture courses and medical courses in the form of Punjab Agricultural University and Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.,” said a college owner from Fatehgarh Sahib district. “But nobody is regulating these in private varsities.”
Technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi, when contacted, said he hopes the draft becomes reality soon. “There is no question of pressure of any institutes. As far as I know, the draft document is with the higher education department now,” he said.