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National Council for Teacher Education may be superseded

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, taking note of complaints and representations against the functioning of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), has decided to supersede the Council and issued a show-cause notice seeking its response.

The notice, issued under Section 30 (1) of the NCTE Act, 1993, expressed grave concern over the working the NCTE as well as the regional committees constituted by it.

Panel report

The government took note of a report submitted by a review committee that pointed out major infirmities and defects in the decision-making process of the Northern Regional Council (NRC) and lack of monitoring and supervision of the functioning of the NRC and the NCTE.

According to the committee, despite making several recommendations to improve the functioning of the NRC and the NCTE, no systemic improvements were made. The government was also anguished over the Bombay High Court order that quashed the recognition granted to 291 colleges in the Western Regional Council (WRC) in breach of government directives.

Court review

Further, on appeal against this order, the Supreme Court decided to review all decisions taken by the WRC in respect of the 291 institutions.

This was an indication of the lack of confidence in the decision-making ability of the NCTE and its regional committees.

Also, it was brought to the notice of the Centre that the Delhi High Court, on various occasions, had expressed extreme displeasure over the manner of functioning of the NCTE, its negative attitude and the unnecessary litigations it was entering into, causing loss of time to the court and harassment to the institutions.

The notice said the decision of the Bombay High Court, the remarks of the Delhi High Court, findings of the review committee and the decision of the Supreme Court were considered sufficient evidence that the “Council is unable to perform its functions.”

Writ petition

It must be noted that a writ petition filed by SASTRA University in the Madras High Court to supersede the NCTE under Section 30 of the NCTE Act and to allow universities to conduct teacher education programmes on their own without seeking approval from the NCTE is pending adjudication.

“The Council has persistently defaulted in performance of its duties under the NCTE Act, and has wilfully failed to comply with the directions of the Central government under Section 29 of the NCTE Act.”

Accordingly, the Centre issued the show-cause notice.

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