HRD Minister Smriti Irani, while replying to a debate on a bill for setting up of one more central university in Bihar, said higher education is facing challenges and "there is a long way we need to go."
She promised to fast-track filling of vacancies of faculties of central universities, including Vice Chancellors, and make the process transparent by letting common people to express their views through a government website
When a mention was made about private colleges, she said, "I am seized of the matter that there are challenges in the private sector. There has been several representations from the private sector and possibly their engagement with the regulators (UGC and AICTE) to be looked into."
She informed the House that "we are reviewing the (functioning of) UGC, AICTE and also NCTE, the demand which has come from across the states."
About two months back, the government has set two separate committees to review the functioning of UGC and AICTE.
The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which seeks to set up one more central university at Motihari in Bihar after Mahatma Gandhi, was then passed by voice vote. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on November 26.
CPI member D Raja earlier demanded the government to establish an expert committee to look into various issues undermining the quality of education including infrastructure, adequate faculty and enrollment of students.
Favouring the suggestion, Irani stated that the government would try to constitute a committee in this regard.

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