Educational News » Foreign varsity, three other bills on education moved

 Foreign varsity, three other bills on education moved

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Indian education system is set for a major overhaul, with four bills introduced in the Lok Sabha Monday that would pave the way for entry of foreign universities, as well as introduce strict accreditation rules for higher education bodies, prohibit capitation fees, and set up tribunals for education-related disputes.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Monday introduced the foreign university bill, along with the three other draft legislations to regulate the education system.


The Foreign University Bill, which aims to allow foreign institutions set up campuses in India, was introduced amidst strong protests from Left MPs.


By allowing foreign institutions to set up campuses in the country, the Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry And Operations) Bill, 2010, is expected to facilitate quality education in India itself and reduce the flow of Indian students abroad.


'The enactment of a legislation regulating entry and operation of all the foreign educational institutions is necessary to maintain the standards of higher education within the country as well to protect the interest of the students and in public interest,' Sibal said in a statement on the bill's objects and reasons.


Providing a framework for an umbrella body overseeing the quality of education in the country, the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority Bill furthers the way for an overall regulatory authority.


'The function of the authority shall be to promote the development and regulate the process of accreditation of higher education institutions and to register and regulate the working of accreditation agencies,' Sibal said in statement attached to the text of the proposed legislation.


Another legislation, termed the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Education Institutions Bill, forbids charging of any fee other than that declared by an institution in its prospectus, or any fee taken without giving proper receipt.


'There is public concern that technical and medical educational institutions should not resort to unfair practices, such as charging capitation fee and demanding donations for admitting students,' Sibal said in the statement of objects and reasons.


Under the provisions of the bill, any institute accepting capitation fee will be liable for a penalty which may extend up to Rs.50 lakh.


Any disputes related to educational institutions will be heard in state or national level education tribunals to be set up as per the proposed Education Tribunals bill.


'In view of rapid growth in higher education sector which has resulted in increase in litigations involving students, teachers, managements of higher educational institutions and universities, there is an urgent need to provide for a mechanism for speedy resolution of their disputes and to improve the quality and efficient functioning of institutions of higher education,' said the bill's statement of objects and reasons.

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