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HRD to give prority to educational reforms

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The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has chalked out its 100-day agenda in which it has given top priority to a scheme for providing interest subsidy to non-creamy layer students on educational loans and introducing a Bill to regulate foreign educational institutions in India.

The scheme, which was approved by the committee of secretaries, awaits approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. A committee, headed by Higher Education Secretary R P Agrawal, is looking into establishing educational tribunals in institutions for settling disputes between the staff and authorities. Minister for MHRD Kapil Sibal, while taking charge of the ministry, had said that priorities were yet to be decided, the extensive 100-day plan also emphasises on accreditation to be made mandatory for all the higher and technical educational institutions. Currently, only 10 per cent of the institutions have been accredited.

The ministry also aims to establish autonomous State Higher Education Councils in all states with the support of the University Grants Commission. The government will also introduce academic reforms like semester system, credit transfer and revision of curriculum in educational institutions. The government hopes to implement a new scheme to give education loans to economically backward and meritorious students at subsidised interest rates.

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The scheme, for which the government has earmarked INR 4,000 crore and is awaiting Cabinet approval, intends to provide the benefits to non-creamy layer students for professional courses. MHRD is keen to introduce Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill in Parliament.

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