Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission would be regulating the activities of the Learning Centres in the State with a view to protect the interests of the students seeking admission in different universities and colleges outside the State. Chief Minister said it in the review Meeting of the HP Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission.

Chief Minister said that the State Government had constituted the Commission as an autonomous body to regulate the operation and functioning of private educational institutions in the State and protect interests of the students taking admission in different vocational courses in such institutes.

Prof. Dhumal said that the State Government was committed to provide students quality education at affordable costs near to their homes and had encouraged participation of competent private parties. He said that in no case quality would be compromised. He said that the Commission had been receiving complaints from different quarters relating to the courses being conducted by various Learning Centres, having no affiliation to UGC or any University, while claiming huge fee from students. He said that in view of such practices and to protect interest of the students, all Learning Centre would be brought under the amidst of Regulatory Commission. He said that if required the State would also consider legislative provisions to regulate the Centres.

Chief Minister said that there were 239 private educational institutions operating in the state, which did not include the Learning Centres. He said that the State would also consider increase accreditation time from existing three years to five years. He said that H.P. University would be designated as competent authority to conduct Common Management Admission Tests to different private education institutions in the State. He said that minimum educational qualification for admission would be as per the norms in Government educational institutions.

He said that no approval for undertaking any B. Tech Integrated Degree Course for 10th standard at University level would be granted, in take for each course would be fixed as per the available infrastructure and facility. He said that AIEEE would be mandatory to B. Tech level Engineering programme for 2013-14 while minimum educational qualification for B. Tech for academic session 2012-13 would be plus two with minimum of 55 percent marks.He said that admission to Pharmacy or any other course would be through common Entrance Test by the State Private Universities. He said that prescribed uniform academic calendar would be adopted and there would be only two semesters (July to December) and (January to June) in each academic session, with a view to ensure uniformity and 90 teaching days per session as per UGC norms. He said that it would be made mandatory to collect fee from the students in two equal installments at the beginning of each semester.

Chief Minister said that the Boards of Director and Vice-Chancellors needed to be autonomous and majority of them should be academicians. He said that Commission would be competent to create synergy in approval and enforcement of regulations. He said that strategy would be evolved for reporting to the commission. He said that the Commission would carry scrutiny of courses offered by the Universities with the approval of the State Government and no un-approved courses would be permitted. He said that the State in association with Commission would be streamlining the process worked out a calendar and prescribed timeline for advance approval of courses/fees and for academic session 2012-13 and clearances would be granted by March 31, 2012. He said that the Universities needed to improve transparency of web-sites by providing complete information. Prof. Dhumal reiterated the resolve of the state Government to make Himachal Pradesh a recognized hub and a preferred choice of students for quality higher education with transparency and integrity.

Earlier, Sarojini Ganju, Chairperson, HP Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission, welcomed the Chief Minister, and detailed challenges, progress and issues relating to the functioning of the Commission. She delved upon bottlenecks in transparent functioning of private educational institutions. Rajwant Sandhu, Chief Secretary, underlined the need for manpower planning and fixation of the number of seats in each course. S.K.Dash, Principal Secretary Technical Education, A.C.Dogra, Principal Secretary Law, A.R.Rizvi, Secretary Health, Uday Singh, Additional Secretary of Education and other senior officers attended the meeting.