Wednesday 29 June 2016

Govt plays down Subramanian committee report on education

A week after the TSR Subramanian committee's draft report on the New Education Policy (NEP) was leaked, the human resource development ministry is in two minds whether to adopt or reject its recommendations. A section in the ministry is inclined to completely scrap the report and set up a fresh committee. However, as an alternative, the ministry might summarise the report and circulate it to
states seeking their suggestions. The TSR Subramanian committee had submitted its draft report to the ministry on May 27 this year. However the ministry failed to bring the draft out into the public domain and it was unofficially circulated to stakeholders and media only. The ministry was reluctant to release the draft. A fortnight after receiving the report, minister Smriti Irani had said, "We will first share the draft with the states to seek their opinion before releasing it for public comments." The comment from the ministry had come after ministry had held its own consultations on the draft before sharing the suggestions with the drafting committee. Now, with the report already out, the ministry is mulling the idea of letting the report die a natural death. "The sanctity of the report is lost. The ministry may reconstitute a new committee to prepare a fresh draft," said a ministry source. To save time, the ministry will share the suggestions that it has gathered from its own consultations to the new committee if constituted. The ministry had held nationwide consultations involving block, district and state level stakeholders. The ministry is in a haste to get the draft out. The Subramanian committee was to submit its report in December last year itself. It was, however, submitted after a delay of over five months. If a new committee is constituted now, it will take at least three to four months before a fresh report is prepared. On second thoughts, the ministry does not want to invest any more time in redrafting the report. "The other option before us to summarise the report, prepare fine points and then share it with the states," said a ministry functionary. Even if the ministry starts preparing the brief report now, it will take at least three weeks before the ministry shares the draft with the states.

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