Setback for Sibal, panel defers consideration of key bill

The members of the standing committee took the view that the consideration needed to be postponed till the fate of the original bill was clear, committee sources said. The Prohibition of Unfair Practises in Technical, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill was one among the three key education reforms bills linked with the Tribunal Bill.

In the absence of committee chairman Oscar Fernandes, N K Singh of the JD(U) presided over today's meeting at which members insisted that the bill should not be considered as the Government is not yet clear whether it has accepted its recommendations for amendments in the Education Tribunal Bill.

Sibal had faced embarrassment on the last day of the Monsoon session of Parliament as the Government was forced to defer consideration of the Education Tribunal Bill after senior Congress leader K Keshav Rao led the attack against the Minister for hurrying up the key legislation. Rao had taken objection to the HRD Ministry rejecting the report of the standing committee which was a "mini-Parliament". He had contended that the rejection of the report and Parliament not being told about it was "unacceptable."
The standing committees are not attended by the Ministers and the Ministry secretary and other senior officials assist the Parliamentarians in their task.

The Prohibition of Unfair Practises in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and University Bill proposes to take a stern view against capitation fee, besides providing safeguards against failing to keep promise of quality education by such institutions.

The penalty provisions could attract a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh.

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