New Delhi: Two key related bills on reforms in higher education have been delinked to ensure that the delay in passage of one of them does not affect the other.
The move comes in wake of the inordinate delay in the passage of the Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010, which seeks to establish educational tribunals at the national and state levels to expedite adjudication of disputes in the education sector.
This Bill will be delinked from the Unfair Practices in Technical Education Institutions, Medical Educational institutions and Universities Bill, 2010.
The Educational Tribunal Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in 2010 but has been struck in the Rajya Sabha since then due to lack of consensus among political parties.
The HRD Ministry officials said Unfair Practices Bill "will be amended so that adjudication of penalties is delinked from the Educational Tribunal Bill, 2010, and restored to civil courts".
This Bill, introduced in Lok Sabha, specifies guidelines under which unfair practices such as charging capitation fees, demanding donations, questionable admission processes etc could be treated as civil or criminal offences.
The Association of Self-Financing Universities has, however, voiced objections to these Bills along with three other Bills which are pending in Parliament, terming them as unconstitutional.
It said the five new Bills proposed to regulate all universities and higher education institutions, which is "completely unconstitutional" in nature. The association, which approached four former chief justices of India, quoted them as saying that Parliament does not have legislative competence to legislate in matters of universities.
This is in view of exclusion of universities in Entry 44 of List I-Union List and inclusion of universities in Entry 32 of List II-State List.
The Bills in question are The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011, and The National Commission for Human Resources for Health Bill, 2011.
"The Central government does not have the right to make any of these bills that try to govern universities as well. Universities are state matter as per the constitution of India," a statement said quoting them.
The Bills will take away the power of the state, the association felt.