‘Common exam on anvil for under-grad courses’

The govt intends to have a common examination for under-graduate programmes across the country from 2013, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said.

New Delhi: The government intends to have a
common examination for under-graduate programmes across the
country from 2013 and prepare a common merit list as part of
efforts to prepare quality of education, HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal said on Friday.

He also told the Lok Sabha that the government would crack
down on fake universities, the practice of taking capitation
fee, misleading advertisements and other malpractices
regarding which a bill is being brought.

Replying to a debate on a bill to amend the National
Institutes of Technology Act, Sibal said the government is
keen on improving the quality of education and in this regard
world class universities would be set up in the country.

The National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill,
2010, which proposes structural changes in such educational
establishments and bringing in its ambit the five Indian
Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), was
passed by a voice vote later.

Talking about the initiatives taken by government to
improve the quality of education, Sibal said there was an
effort to provide equal opportunities to both rural and urban

He said his attempt was to have common entrance test at
under-graduate level from 2013 and then prepare an all-India
merit list.

As per the merit, candidates would qualify for prestigious
technical institutes, the minister said, adding an expert
committee was examining the matter.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day
speech had also mentioned about universalisation of secondary
education in the country.

"In the last few years, fundamental changes have taken
place in the area of education. Today, every citizen has a
right to elementary education. We are now considering
universalisation of secondary education," Singh had said.

Sibal also said that an inter-Ministerial group was
thinking to put a blanket ban on all forms of child labour.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986,
prohibits engagement of children below 14 years in almost all
occupations, barring the agriculture sector, as a whole.

Children below 14 are now permitted to work in
agricultural processes where tractors, threshing and
harvesting machines are used. They cannot, however, work in
chaff cutting and handling of pesticides and insecticides.


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