After a spate of litigations and suits against the Bar Council of India regarding the Bar exam and other disputes which adversely affect the students, the Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the ambitious National Educational Tribunals Bill,2010 (Bill).
After a spate of litigations and suits against the Bar Council of India regarding the Bar exam and other disputes which adversely affect the students, the Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the ambitious National Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 (Bill).
The Bill, which is aimed at solving disputes relating to education matters in a speedy and effective manner was introduced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (HRD). The Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in May of this year after which it was referred to the Standing Committee.
The Bill seeks to set up Educational Tribunals at the State and National level to adjudicate educational disputes between students and institutions as well as teachers and institutions.
Each State Tribunal will consist of 3 members led by a Chairperson who has ample experience in the field of higher education and public affairs. The members must have also held the post of Vice Chancellor or Chief Secretary in the State government. These State Tribunals will have jurisdiction over disputes relating to teachers and other employees of higher education as well as disputes arising out of affiliation and unfair practices by these institutions.
The Bill also proposes a National Tribunal to be set up which will be led by a Chairperson and consists of a team of a maximum number of 8 persons. These members will be selected on the recommendation of a Selection Committee and will be appointed by the Central Government. The Chairperson shall be a judicial member and should have been a judge of the Supreme Court.
The National Tribunal will adjudicate matters and disputes relating to higher educational institutions and statutory bodies. The National Tribunal shall also act on appeals from the orders of the State Tribunals. Any order that is passed by the National Tribunal can be appealed or challenged only in the Supreme Court.
Showing that the HRD Ministry is serious in speeding up the educational reforms process, it has proposed that any failure to meet the orders passed by the tribunals shall attract a fine of Rs.10 lakhs ($ 21,300) or an imprisonment term of up to 3 years or both.
If the Bill is implemented in earnest by the government it will go a long way in making sure that the student body does not lose out on valuable time in litigations.
A copy of the Bill can be found here.