18 Mar :Four education reforms bills of HRD Ministry, including one seeking to ban unfair practices in technical and medical educational institutions and universities are expected to come up before the Union Cabinet on Friday.
The other proposed legislations include the Accreditation Bill and the one to amendment the Architects Act. A Group of Ministers (GoM) has already cleared these bills.
The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill seeks to check unfair practices, including charging capitation fee, in institutions.
As per the bills, charging of capitation fee or failure of educational institutions to keep promises of quality education could attract imprisonment up to three years for guilty administrators or fine up to Rs 50 lakh for the institute.
The Bill seeks to consider such practices as criminal or civil offences depending on the nature of the crime.
As per the bill, if an institute makes certain promises in its prospectus, but does not deliver or charges capitation fee from a number of students, then such practices should be considered criminal offences.
However, in case of an isolated instance of malpractice involving just one or two students, the offences could be considered civil offences.
The criminal offences should be tried in a court of law while civil offences will be tried in educational tribunals to be set up soon.
The Ministry has drafted the Educational Tribunal Bill which provides for setting up of tribunals to settle all types of disputes, including any type of malpractice or harassment.
The bill on accreditation seeks to accredit any type of institution in higher education sector.
The amendment in the Architects Act seeks to take away academic functions from the Council of Architecture and limits it only to controlling the profession.