Bills on varsities, higher education to be tabled

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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Two bills on higher education will be tabled on January 17 and a bill to establish Rajarshi Janak University will be proposed for approval in the same legislature meeting.

The bills could not be tabled today because parliament lacked quorum. Only 132 lawmakers were present and the quorum needed was 149. The house is scheduled to meet on January 17.

Higher Education bill, also known as an umbrella bill — that brings all universities within its ambit — was expected to precede the RJU bill and Nepalgunj University bill. Political parties are however pressing their own regional and local bills instead of the bill that provisions opening of all other universities in future.

NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi is pressing for RJU, while Nepalgunj University bill comes with the concept of regional universities by public pressure. Of late, locals of Nepalgunj had poured into the streets demanding that their bills be tabled in parliament. Likewise, two more university bills are in the pipeline: Madan Bhandari Technological University is being pressed by CPN-UML and Birgunj University is being brought by Madhes-based parties.

Education Ministry officials are not happy with this. An official lamented saying that though the higher education bill should come first, political parties are pressing for bills of their own interest more than the bill related to national interest. HEB cancels the tradition of bringing in separate Acts for establishing universities. If everything goes as planned, RJU will be the tenth university. Confusion looms over the number of universities the country needs.

The quality of higher education is degrading. However, attempts are being made to open universities without any needs assessment.

The provisions for new university in HEB is tougher, therefore all the leaders and related people are desperate to get their bills through the legislature before HEB.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)