Tough task for Sibal

Current Lok Sabha is half-way through its term but many important bills are still pending


Jasleen Kaur | April 16, 2012

When Kapil Sibal became HRD minister, his aim was nothing less than a thorough revamp of the entire education system. Within no time, he came up with a blueprint for reforms at all levels. He backed it up by drafting a slew of bills. But almost after three years and eight parliamentary sessions (not counting the ongoing one), the bills remain bills.

No wonder he is now requesting, "with folded hands", all parties to push the reforms through because the next gen's future is at stake.

One major bill that Sibal managed to get cleared was the Right to Education bill, which was successfully passed in 2010. But even this bill waits for an amendment, to extend the right to disabled children.

Way back in March 2010, a series of bills related to education, 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 a year later, none of them has been passed. The minister’s mission to reform in the education sector remains at a standstill.

Among the ones waiting for a parliamentary nod, there are four bills relating to regulation of higher education. These include setting up education tribunals that will try cases related to disputes in the sector. Sibal faced strong opposition to this bill in 2010, from the BJP and from his own party as well.

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.




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