The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has approached the University Grants Commission (UGC) to seek esteemed university status in the de novo category.
The issue will be discussed today at the NCERT Executive Committee (EC) meeting, as reported by media reports. The EC is the highest decision-making body of NCERT and is chaired by the Union Minister of Education. The agenda for the EC meeting states that the status of a esteemed university will enable NCERT to offer its own graduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees with the autonomy of the program introduction, course structure and conducting examinations and management .
Currently, the graduate and postgraduate programs offered by the Regional Institute of Education of NCERT are affiliated with local universities including Barkatullah University, Bhopal, MDS University, Ajmer, University of Mysuru, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar and North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong . The RIEs focus on research into making school education more effective in the country.
The proposal considered university status calls for greater autonomy, claiming that despite offering several innovative courses, NCERT depends on these varsities for approval to introduce new programs.
However, the proposal also faces opposition from some members of the NCERT faculty, who believe that the status of a supposed university will be a compromise on the autonomy of the council.
“Just as the UGC is the academic authority for higher education, NCERT is the academic authority for school education. Considered university status, this authority will seriously erode,” said assistant professor Abhay Kumar, an elected member of NCERT’s founding committee.
Founded in 1961, NCERT has been involved in the development of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in 1975, 1988, 2000 and 2005, and the National Policy of Education (NPE) in 1968 and 2022. In addition, the textbooks published by NCERT are used in schools according to the curriculum of the Central Council of Secondary Education (CBSE) and various other education boards.
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