New Delhi: The government today initiated fresh efforts for early passage of long-pending educational reform bills with new HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju reaching out to Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj in this regard.
The meeting was significant in view of the fact that Raju's predecessor Kapil Sibal achieved little success in getting the Opposition onboard on the matter despite several attempts. Raju had last month received letters from some Opposition members expressing their reservations about the bills, contending that the legislations infringe on the rights of the states, sources said.
He is expected to reach out to some other parties shortly to develop a consensus as the passage of these bills holds key to expedite reforms in the higher education sector, they said.
Legislations which are listed for consideration and passage during the ongoing session include 'The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill, 2010 and The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010.
The contentious Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 is also listed for consideration. Sibal had to face some embarrassing moments during the 2010 Monsoon Session in Rajya Sabha when members from his own Congress party raised objections about some of the the provisions in the bill.
Lok Sabha had passed the legislation which seeks at setting up tribunals to address problems related to higher education in the current session.
The ministry thereafter amended some provisions in the bill for its smooth passage.
During this session, the ministry plans to introduce The Indian Institute of Information Technology Bill, 2013.
The National Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2013 for upgrading of BESU in Howrah, West Bengal to the IIEST was introduced last week in Rajya Sabha.
Press Trust of India