The Supreme Court on Friday said that private coaching centres in the country need to be “regulated” as these cannot be “wiped out” and asked the Centre to ponder over framing guidelines for it. A bench comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit said requirement of entrance exam for courses, like engineering, is not something “which can be ruled out” and the government has said in its affidavit that it would give weightage to the marks obtained in qualifying school exams as well.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Students Federation of India (SFI), the students front of CPI(M), on mushrooming of “unrecognised” private coaching companies allegedly in violation of Right to Education (RTE) guidelines. When the counsel for the petitioner told the court about coaching centres in Rajasthan, the bench asked, “What do you want the court to do? There are coaching centres. You can’t say they have to be wiped out completely. Yes, they have to be regulated and the government will frame guidelines.”
“The Union of India says it will give weightage to qualifying exams also. There are umpteen number of boards. The requirement of entrance exam is not something which we can rule out,” the bench told the petitioner. “What do you want us to do? To close all the coaching centres? That can’t be done,” the apex court said.
When the petitioner raised the issue of commercial aspect of coaching centres, the bench asked, “Are you concerned about the revenue generated by the coaching centres?” It said that the government will look into it. The Centre had in 2014 told the apex court that it was for the state governments to check mushrooming of “unrecognised” private coaching companies.
The apex court had earlier sought the view of the Ministry of Human Resource Development which filed an affidavit saying that its constitutional duty is only limited to “coordination and determination of standards” in institutions of higher learning and research.
The plea by SFI has also sought directions to the Centre and others to regulate functioning of “unrecognised” private coaching companies across India in an “institutionalised” manner for preparing the students for competitive entrance examination for admission in engineering and medical colleges.
The PIL sibmitted these unregulated coaching centres were being run in violation of CBSE rules and RTE guidelines.
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