The Government is considering the Higher Education Commission of India Bill, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

The Bill repeals the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987.

The Higher Education Commission of India will promote the quality of academic instruction, maintenance of academic standards and encourage autonomy of good performing educational institutions for free pursuit of knowledge, innovation, skills and entrepreneurship, he said

The aim is to be inclusive and offer opportunities to all, and also provide for a comprehensive growth of higher education and research in a competitive global environment.

Pokriyal added that there was no decision yet on implementing 33 per cent reservation for women in Central universities.

Mid-day meal

On providing cooked and nutritious mid-day meal to children, the Minister said that the responsibility lies with State/UT governments.

“The respective State governments and UT administrations were requested to furnish action taken report (ATR) in the matter,” he said.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is reviewing its textbooks in 2018-19 and has already rationalised the contents of various subjects.

The revised textbooks are available for 2019-20, he said.

He noted that students need life skill education, value education, physical education, experiential learning, creative skills, along with knowledge for real development.

Stakeholders pointed out that because of heavy curriculum, there is no time left for all these aspects. “Also, rote learning is not the way forward,” he said in the written reply.