Policy Matters

Five education bills under discussion in Cabinet

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On 11th March 2010, the Cabinet was to take up five bills, which shall overhaul the scenario of higher education in India, for a discussion. Three of the five bills have already been passed by the muster at the Group pf Minister's meetings. The agenda of the Cabinet includes checking malpractices in institutes, establishing tribunals to adjudicate on education related disputes, accrediting institutes on set parameters and allowing foreign education providers to set up centres. Authorisation will be granting to the Centre to impose fines of INR 50 lakh against errant institutes on committing 25 set violations like providing false information about faculty and facilities and sentencing of up to 10 years in case of individuals, if the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical, Medical Educational Institutions and University's Bill is implemented.

The Educational Tribunal Bill is to take a look at any dispute arising between students and institutions, teachers and institutions and institute and regulatory body. Accreditation bill suggests for all institutes to necessarily seek accreditation from private accrediting agencies, which are registered under the ministry and after receiving the ratings, the institute has to declare it in public. The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill will grant approval to a foreign institute to ply in the country through three levels. The Council of Architecture Act 1972 will rationalize the Council's powers. The new bills are a part of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal's plans to enhance higher education in India. The Minister expects them to be passed in the monsoon session of the Parliament.
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