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Law, HRD ministries lock horns over regulation of legal education
In a debate over the right to regulate the legal education in India, the apex regulator for legal profession and education, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has objected to the inclusion of legal education under the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER). However, MHRD had overruled the objections raised by the law ministry.
NCHER will subsume all existing regulatory bodies in education such as UGC, All India Council for Technical Education and National Council for Teachers Education to bring transparency in regulating higher education.
The inclusion of legal education under the NCHER will broadly mean control over legal education courses being taught in 913 colleges, 260 universities and 14 national law schools across India.
"To meet the emerging challenges of legal profession and education, a separate independent and specialized body is required. The law ministry is working towards that and had assured the parliament in this regard" stated a ministry note signed by law minister on 1sr December, 2011.
Responding to the development, the BCI chairman said, "It is a serious matter and we view it as an encroachment on our powers. The HRD ministry should have taken us into confidence."
"All options are open. We will first talk to the law ministry, which is our administrative ministry and if required, a call for a nationwide action, including a strike is not ruled out." added the BCI chairman.
Meanwhile, MHRD is contending that since many law colleges are being run by universities and excluding them from the ambit of the proposed council would have defeated the purpose of having a uniform regulator for higher education.
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