Monday, September 15, 2008

NKC gets a term extenstion

It's not just judicial inquiry commissions that get their terms extended. Joining that special list of entities that don't finish their work in time is the National Knowledge Commission, which now gets six extra months. Here's a semi-official explanation:

“We believe the commission still has a role to play, though its three years are about to get over. That is why we have extended its term,” a PMO source said. [...]

“But the impressive performance of the commission suggests the country could use such a body in its administration for policy framework in the future, too.” The source also said “the Prime Minister is keen that the commission continue its work”.

NKC's output is quite impressive. It has produced an enormous number of reports on all kinds of things: school and university education, research in natural and social sciences, library network, innovation policy, entrepreneurship, and so on. By their very nature, NKC's recommendations will take several years to play out. However, as the Telegraph's Charu Sudan Kasturi points out, there are several areas where the NKC has already had some real impact:

The panel’s proposal for an unprecedented thrust to skill-based vocational education has resulted in the Centre announcing plans to launch a massive skill development mission that Singh will head.

The UPA government has also accepted its proposal to revive libraries across the country and link them through the Internet to allow access to documents and books at any library from any other.

The proposal for a national knowledge network linking all higher educational institutions through high-speed Internet is in the process of implementation.