By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : On July 7 late evening the
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) issued a gazette notification
superseding the National Council for Teacher
Education for six months (NCTE).
The notification, issued by the
Department of School
Education and Literacy said that in exercise of
powers conferred under sub-section (1) of Section 30
of the NCTE Act the government has superseded the NCTE
for a period of six months.
In a separate order, issued on July 8, the MHRD said
that Ms Anshu Vaish, Secretary, School
Education and Literacy has been appointed Chairperson of NCTE and
that Joint Secretary R
P Sisodia, Department of Higher
Education, would be the Member-Secretary.
All powers and duties of the NCTE would now be
carried out by officials appointed by the MHRD, the
Explaining the rationale behind the July 7
notification the MHRD said that that NCTE was issued a
show-cause notice citing instances
where it had failed to carry out
its functions, and had “consistently defaulted” in its
duties ignoring the directions issued by
The NCTE was given a months time to explain things.
In its reply, NCTE admitted that “there
have been gross procedural lapses in processing of
cases (for recognition) in terms of non-preparation
of comprehensive agenda, intimation of deficiencies
on the proposals to institutions within specified
time-frame and lack of supervision and monitoring.”
NCTE asked MHRD to reconsider the move to supersede
it and also pleaded that the non-compliance of the government’s
directions was not “wilful”. However the government felt the reply was not convincing
as NCTE had failed consistently, and therefore
was taking over its functions.
All members of the NCTE — whether their term is over
or not — were asked to vacate office. Chairperson M
A Siddiqui, whose removal was earlier ordered by the
HRD minister, has already gone to the Delhi high
The ministry’s action comes after two high-powered
committees submitted their reports. The committees,
set up by the MHRD, looked into the functioning
of the Western Regional Centre (WRC) and Northern
Regional Centre (NRC) of NCTE.
In case of WRC, it was found that it gave
recognition to teacher training institutes against
the wishes of the Governments of Maharashtra and
other states in the western region. The state
Governments argued that there were not only too many
such institutes but those being given recognition
lacked quality. Even HRD ministry had said that any
fresh proposal for recognition be sent to Delhi, but WRC defied the order and gave recognition to nearly
300 new institutions. The matter went to the Bombay
High Court which cancelled the recognition of
institutions. Their promoters went in appeal to the
Supreme Court that has set up a committee under
former chief justice of India J S Varma.
Another MHRD-appointed committee that looked into the
functioning of NRC found massive irregularities in
grant of recognition to teacher training institutes
and even disregard for the parent organization.
Irregularities and corruption in NRC had its impact
on teacher education in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh,
Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi
and Chandigarh, all of which fall under its
jurisdiction. The panel had recommended repatriation
of the current regional director, action against
errant officials and reconstitution of NRC.