The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at streamlining the education sector in the state. The Arunachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission) Bill, 2017 which was tabled in the House on Monday by state Education minister Honchun Ngandam, was passed after discussion by the members.
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Responding to the suggestions of members, Ngandam said mushrooming of private universities and colleges in the state was a cause of concern and the bill was aimed at regulating the quality of education.
“There might be a few loopholes which can be rectified, but the bill has a holistic noble intention,” he said.
The minister said the bill was for setting up of a regulatory commission and regulatory mechanism in the state to ensure appropriate standards for admission, teaching, examination, research and protection of interest of students in private educational institutions.
The regulatory commission would not be a stumbling block for investors, he assured. Taking part in the discussion on the bill, education parliamentary secretary Pani Taram said the bill was aimed at monitoring all private educational institutions offering higher secondary and above courses and whether they were following the state and central guidelines.
“There should be no political interference in the education sector and violation of the guidelines for the first time will invite a penalty to the tune of Rs one crore and for subsequent violations the penalty will rise to Rs five crore,” Taram said.
The state has total of ten universities including eight private, 22 degree colleges (seven private), three private professional colleges, eight private B.Ed collages and seven polytechnic institutions including one private.
While BJP member Kento Rina supported the Bill, Independent MLA Paknga Bage said private educational institutions were mostly commercial and advocated for grading of educational institutions based on availability of teachers and facilities.
State Agriculture minister Wangki Lowang suggested the government should check whether private universities were recognised by the UGC.
Former education minister Tapang Taloh said most of the private universities in the state were running from rented premises and alleged their basic aim was to sell certificates.
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary minister Dr Mohesh Chai alleged that the private varsities in the state were imparting quantitative education instead of quality.
Senior BJP MLA Wangling Lowangdong called for regulating educational institutions with zero tolerance.
The House also passed the Arunachal Pradesh Anatomy Bill.
The bill would provide for supply of unclaimed bodies or donate bodies or parts of deceased persons to hospitals and medical institutions for the purpose of anatomical examination and dissection and other similar purposes.
Both bills were passed in the Assembly by voice vote.