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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Sibal dispels apprehension on NEET for medical course

  • MCI notifications for common entrance tests withdrawn
  • States to be consulted before taking final decision
Tiruchi: Seeking to allay apprehensions of States opposed to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS, the Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday that a final decision on the issue would be taken only after consultation with States.

Notifications issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for holding common entrance tests to graduate and postgraduate courses had been withdrawn, Mr. Sibal said, quoting a report in The Hindu.
Addressing a press conference, he referred to the directive by the Union Health Ministry to the MCI to withdraw its notifications and said the consultation with States would be held from January 11 to 13.

Responding to a query, he said the proposal for the establishment of the Education Finance Corporation was under consultation by the Planning Commission.

The funding agency that would provide educational loan at low interest rates would materialise once the proposal reached the Finance Ministry. Mr. Sibal said colleges that fulfilled quality parameters alone deserved to be permitted by the Central and State Governments to evolve into universities.

Not all colleges could be transformed into universities, Mr. Sibal said, observing that some universities were ineligible to hold on to the status.

To a question on the State government's request for compliance with communal reservation policy in admissions and appointments in the Indian Institute of Management � Tiruchi, Mr. Sibal explained that the Institute was bound by the legal framework for Central universities and other IIMs.

When asked about the Central government's role in increasing the number of universities as advocated by the National Knowledge Commission, Mr. Sibal said the (Central) government alone could not start 800 to 900 new universities. The State government should start universities and encourage public-private partnership in starting new ones.

The National Accreditation Authority for Higher Education Institutions Bill, 2010, would ensure quality.

Once this bill, along with the Foreign Education Providers Bill 2010, and the National Commission for Higher Education and Research Bill was passed, a broad framework could be evolved for expanding the gross enrolment ratio to 30 per cent by 2020.

Of the Rs. 219 crore levied from 119 licencees as liquidated damages for not rolling out telecom services, a sum of about Rs. 73 crore had been realised so far, Mr. Sibal, who is also the Telecom Minister, said, adding that the process for arriving at a new telecom policy in a year's time would be initiated in the next few months.
Courtesy: The Hindu
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