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Major higher education reforms bills in LS tomorrow

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 10:06

New Delhi: Government`s initiatives on higher education reforms will be put on fast track as four bills, including one on allowing entry of foreign universities to the
country, are expected to be introduced on Monday in Lok Sabha.

The other bills relate to checking of malpractices by
educational institutions, setting up of a national
accreditation agency and having specialised educational
tribunals to adjudicate disputes in campuses.

According to the list of business slated for Monday, HRD
Minister Kapil Sibal is expected to move the four bills.

The Cabinet has cleared the Foreign Educational
Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill on
March 15. The bill seeks to allow entry and operation of
foreign universities in the country.

The major provisions of the bill are conditions like Rs
50 crore as corpus fund to be deposited by the aspiring
institute to be allowed to operate.

Each institute will have to be registered with the
University Grants Commission (UGC) or any regulatory body in
place at the time of registration.

The bill has a provision under which the government can
reject an application of a university if it feels that the
venture will have an adverse impact on national security.

Provisions of Section 25 of the Companies Act will be
applicable for the foreign institutes. Under this provision,
they cannot take the profit back, but will have to spend the
amount for further expansion of the institutions here.

The bill was hanging fire for over four years owing to
opposition from various quarters, including the Left parties,
over certain provisions. Last year, it was referred to a
Committee of Secretaries which brought modifications to some
provisions which existed earlier.

Sibal will also introduce Prohibition of Unfair
Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical
Educational Institutions and University Bill, which was
approved by the Cabinet in March.

Duping students by charging capitation fee or failing to
keep promise of quality education could attract a fine of upto
Rs 50 lakh for errant institutes or imprisonment upto three
years for its administrators, it says.

The bill seeks to consider such practices as criminal or
civil offences depending on the nature of the crime.

Sibal will move the Educational Tribunal Bill which
provides for setting up of tribunals to settle all types of
disputes, including any type of malpractice or harassment of

The fourth one is the National Accreditation Regulatory
Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill. The
proposed agency will assess and accredit institutions of
higher education to ensure high standards.


First Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 10:06

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