The cabinet today gave the final approval to the draft of “The Accreditation Council Law, 2016” aiming to ensure quality of higher education, particularly the university education, in Bangladesh.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
He said the approval of the draft law was given to meet an aspiration of the Ministry of Education for quality higher education in the country.
He said according to the draft law, a 13-member council would be constituted headed by the chairman along with 4 full time and 8 part time members. The council would accomplish all the responsibilities of ensuring quality of higher education in the country, he said.
About qualification of the chairman and members, the cabinet secretary said, they must have 25 years of experience in teaching at public universities along with minimum 10 years of teaching experience as professor.
Among the eight part time members, he said, one would be nominated by the University Grants Commission, one by the government holding the status of Joint Secretary, President of the Association of the Private Universities in Bangladesh or a representative of the association, an expert of a recognized foreign Accreditation Agency and a representative of a related professional organization to be nominated by the government.
Besides, an industry entrepreneur of the FBCCI, an expert in education administration and an ICT expert both to be nominated by the government would also be the part time members of the council, he added.
Explaining the responsibilities of the council, Alam said, its main work would be to issue or suspend or cancel the confidence certificate or accreditation certificate given by higher educational institutions aimed at ensuring quality higher education.
Accreditation of the higher educational institutions of the country and their activities on accreditation as well as formation of a separate accreditation committee for every discipline following the application of various higher educational institutions are also under jurisdiction of the council, he said.
Besides, it would fix up the conditions for giving accreditation or confidence certificates.
The cabinet secretary added that the council would also work to earn international recognition on accreditation through inter-state-level discussion and mutual discussion with the international organizations.
Moreover, it would provide inspiration for all concerned as well as arrange seminar, symposium and necessary training, development and campaign programmes on accreditation.
Alam said the cabinet endorsed “The Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) Research Law, 2016” aimed to make the organisation more dynamic and time-befitting.
He said under the new law, there would be an advisory council and a board of directors in the BINA. The council will guide the board of directors by giving advice from time to time as well as policy support.
The agriculture minister, Alam said, will be the head of this advisory council while the agriculture secretary will be its vice-president.
The other members of the council are: executive chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Council, representative from the Finance Ministry (not below joint secretary), divisional chief of related division from Planning Commission, vice chancellor of Bangladesh Agriculture University or his/her representative, director general of Department of Agriculture Extension, the director general of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, the DG of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, the DG of Jute Research Institute and three government nominated persons—one will be experienced in nuclear agriculture, one experienced farmer while the other one will be non-government organisation representative.
The DG of BINA will act as the member secretary of this advisory council, the cabinet secretary said.
He said the DG of the BINA will lead the Board of Directors of the institute. The other members are—representatives from Atomic Energy Commission, Agriculture Faculty of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Advisory Council, directors of the institute, government nominated senior scientist of the Institute, government nominated experienced farmer and NGO representative, Agriculture Ministry nominated representative (not below deputy secretary), representative from Finance Division (not below deputy secretary).
The director (administration and support) of the institute will be the member secretary of the board, Alam said.
He said the cabinet also approved “The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) Law, 2016” by merging the two previous acts and translating those into Bangla.
He said the new law is going to be formulated by merging the two previous laws formulated during the military regimes—one in 1978 and another in 1985 — and translating those into Bangla.
The cabinet secretary said no significant change has been made in the new law in comparison with the previous acts.
Regarding the goal of the centre, Alam said, seven responsibilities, especially management and research of diarrhoea and such kind of diseases, have been mentioned in the proposed law.
Under the proposed law, there would be a board comprising minimum 12 members and maximum 17, he said.
The cabinet secretary said four members would be nominated by the government, one by the World Health Organization and another by the other UN body, while executive director of the centre would be made a member of the board.
The remaining members would be nominated by the board, he said, adding that more than two members could not be nominated by other countries.
The cabinet secretary said the executive director of the centre would act as the member secretary of the board. “All members of the board would be appointed for a tenure of three years. However, the tenure could be extended for three more years,” he said.
Regarding the activities of the board, he said, the main work of the board would be to supervise overall activities of the centre. He said the board could convene at least two meetings in a year, adding the centre could collect fund from home and abroad as well as international bodies and non-government organizations.
The cabinet secretary said the cabinet also endorsed a proposal for ratification of “The Treaty between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the Union of Myanmar on the Demarcation of the Land Section of the boundary north of the Naaf river.”
He said the draft of the proposed bilateral agreement on the productivity assistance development between Bangladesh and China was approved by the cabinet.
Alam said the third quarterly (July-September) report of 2016 on the implementation of decisions taken in the cabinet was placed in today’s meeting.