Govt forced to defer key education reforms bill

Govt forced to defer key education reforms bill

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had to make a hasty retreat after the Education Tribunal Bill, 2010 came under all round attack including from senior Congress leader K Keshava Rao.

This is despite the fact that the bill, seeking to create a mechanism for providing speedy resolution of disputes pertaining to higher education institutions, was passed by Lok Sabha on August 26. UPA does not have a majority in the Upper House.

"Considering the sentiments of honourable members of this House, I request that the consideration of the bill be deferred to the next session," Sibal said.

The minister at the same time disagreed with the apprehensions expressed by the opposition saying, "We are not in anyway infringing upon the rights of the states. It's a significant piece of legislation and if members want a larger debate, we have no problem."

K N Balagopal (CPI-M) said it was a hasty bill and wanted it to be put in abeyance.
N K Singh (JD-U) wanted to know whether the bill has provisions for strengthening internal dispute resolution and settlement mechanism.

He said there was "excessive bureaucratisation" and referred to the proposal of having three Secretaries to the Government of India in the Tribunal.

Singh also criticised the government for ignoring the recommendations of the Standing Committee.

K P Ramalingam (DMK), while supporting the bill, said it was not proper to appoint retired members of the judiciary in the Tribunal.

He said the National Tribunal should be an appellate authority and not a governing authority and added that the autonomy of the states should not be eroded.
Pyarimohan Mohapatra (BJD) said the minister was in a "tearing hurry" as the recommendations of the Standing Committee were ignored.

He said education was in the concurrent list but it does not mean that the Centre would trample over the rights of the state in this regard.

Urging the government to keep the bill in abeyance or withdraw it, Bharatkumar Raut (Shiv Sena) said only four states have so far given their consent to the bill.

He said the bill does not deal with education at all and wondered why the minority educational institutions have been kept out of the ambit of the proposed legislation.
"You are doing more harm to the minorities than good by keeping them out of the ambit of the bill," he said.

Describing the Bill as a "hurried legislation", M Rama Jois (BJP) said it was not acceptable in a federal structure.

Mahendra Mohan (SP) and Janardhan Waghmare (NCP) supported the bill. Others who participated in the debate included Bhalchandra Mungekar (Nom). 

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