Sibal hopes oppn will support passage of education bills



New Delhi: Observing that capacity augmentation in the field of higher education cannot be achieved without approval of key pending legislations, government today expressed hope that Opposition will support their passage in the winter session of Parliament.

Referring to the Accreditation Bill, the Unfair Practices Bills and the Foreign Education Providers Bill, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said roping in private and foreign players to set up universities and colleges would remain unfulfilled unless these Bills are cleared.

"I believe and I hope that in the winter session, the Opposition will support us in passage of these bills," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

The government alone cannot meet the demands in higher education sector as 45 million students are expected to go to universities by 2020 when gross enrolment ration would touch 30 per cent, he said.

Earlier, he had regretted that opposition parties were not allowing discussion on these bills despite being cleared by the Parliament standing committee which comprises members from across parties.

Inaugurating the first India-New Zealand education council meeting here, he said India will collaborate with them in the field of research and skill development along with various areas.

MoUs between Indian and New Zealand institutes were signed on the occasion.

Talking about the low-cost Aakash device, which Sibal showed to New Zealand’s Minister for Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce, he said the device will be provided to every student in the country in the coming five to seven years.

Statement issued by the HRD Ministry said India and New Zealand expressed their commitment to earmark USD 1 million annually to enhance cooperative activities through specific programmes designed by the India-New Zealand Education Council.

The programmes will include joint research, student mobility, faculty development, qualifications framework as well as vocational education and training, among others.

The Council has been constituted to draw up a framework and devise mechanisms of co-operation and set the agenda for improving educational relations between the two countries.

Recognising further collaboration in mobility of workforce, the Council suggested early recognition of each other?s educational qualifications by India and New Zealand as mobility of students and workforce also necessitates parity in qualifications, the statement said.

The Council deliberated upon measures to enhance and widen the scope of joint research and sharing of best practices in open educational resources and technology enabled learning.

It was also agreed to collaborate in tribal studies and preservation of languages, culture and traditional crafts, the statement said.

Six MoUs of cooperation between different institutions were also signed between the two countries.

An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sport New Zealand of New Zealand Government on cooperation in the field of sports.

Victoria University, Wellington and Jawahar Lal Nehru University also signed an MoU for exchange of faculty members, students and conduct of joint Research activities. An educational partnership agreement was singed between University of Delhi and Lincoln University/Asia-Pacific Football Academy.

PTI