Odisha seeks freedom for universities in Centre’s National Education Policy

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The state government has submitted its views to the Centre on the proposed National Education Policy, 2019, and has sought more autonomy for higher education institutions.

The bill, drafted by the Union ministry of human resource development, will repeal the University Grants Commission Act-1956 and the All India Council for Technical Education Act-1987 and bring in reforms in the education sector.

“We have gone through the document and found some gaps in it. We welcome the bill but it needs more deliberation,” a higher education department official said.

The state has sought freedom for higher education institution to create their own academic space. “No university has become outstanding by being directed by regulatory bodies. They have reached excellence by facilitating freedom in teaching, learning, research and innovation,” Odisha said.

In one of the components, the bill has sought penalties for institutions that do not follow regulations. The state has objected to this, saying imposition of penalties would be draconian.

It also suggested that the higher education council should have at least eight members, not less than the rank of full-time professors, instead of two members as proposed in the draft bill. The tenure of the members should be three years instead of the proposed one, Odisha has suggested.

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