The Union Cabinet on 2 August has approved of doing away with the ‘no-detention’ policy in schools till Standard 8. The cabinet also approved the Human Resource Development ministry’s plan of creating 20 world-class institutions in the country.
An enabling provision will be added in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education amendment bill which will allow states to detain students in class V and class VIII if they fail in the year-end exam. However, the students will have to be given a second chance to improve via an examination before detaining them. The bill is yet to be placed before the Parliament.
The present RTE Act allows for automatic promotion of the students till Standard 8; this key component was inserted into the Act on 1 April 2010.
Furthermore, the University Grants Commission (UGC) in February had passed a new set of regulations to set up 20 world-class institutions — 10 in the public sector and 10 in the private sector. The Union Cabinet also approved of this decision.
10 state-supported institutions are due to receive public funding amounting to Rs. 500 crore each.
An Expenditure Finance Committee note seeking Rs. 5,000 crore for these institutions has been moved. The institutes can be existing or greenfield (the latter for private institutions).
Education Ministry’s separate rules – UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines – allow these new institutes to fix their own fees for foreign students and decide salaries for foreign faculty. They are also allowed the freedom to choose the admission procedures.The current universities do not have such freedom and are guided by the detailed UGC rules.
Points to ponder
- It is important to understand if the recent changes that have been approved by the Union Cabinet would actually benefit the students - it is yet to be realised what works best for students: the fear of examinations or the complacence without it?