A tough task for Sibal

How many bills will get passed this monsoon session?


Jasleen Kaur | August 4, 2011

When he was appointed HRD minister, Kapil Sibal was a man with mission. He wanted to change the entire education system and was even quick to come up with a blueprint for education reforms at all levels.

But more than two years down the line he has only managed to give the right to every child to free and compulsory education.

The minister though worked on various education bills but none of them has been passed in parliament yet.

In March 2010, many education bills including the Foreign Education Bill, the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill, the National Education Tribunals Bill got the cabinet nod. But 2010 ended with no single education bill passed.  Thus keeping his agenda to bring reforms in education sector stand still.

The Right to Education bill was successfully passed but an amendment to extend the right to disabled children is yet to be passed.

This monsoon session Sibal has a tough task to get parliament nod on at least four education bills that will regulate higher education. These include setting up education tribunals that will try cases related to disputes in the sector. Sibal faced strong opposition on this bill last year, from the BJP and from his own party as well. Against this bill the Standing Committee of the ministry had come out with a scathing report and Congress member K Keshava Rao objected the ministry’s decision of rejecting this report and “hurrying up” with the Bill.

The second bill is the one that bans capitation fees and prescribes disclosure standards in prospectuses. The third bill mandates quality ratings for all university and college courses and the fourth one is to permit and regulate foreign universities.

It is important for the minister to get these bills passed to make sure they are functional in time for the academic year 2012, as he promised.



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