After facing some embarrassing moments in the Rajya Sabha last time, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal will make another attempt to pass a bill that aims at setting up tribunals to address problems related to higher education in the current session.
The Educational Tribunal Bill, which is key to the passage of other reforms bills in the higher education sector, faced stiff opposition in the monsoon session from many members, including Congress' K Keshava Rao, forcing Sibal to defer it to the Winter session which will conclude on December 13.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in August. Sibal came under attack from his party colleagues for "hurrying up" with the Bill against which the Standing Committee of ministry had given an unsatisfactory report.
Taking strong objection to the HRD ministry rejecting report of the Standing Committee, Rao had said, "this kind of hasty legislation for a subject like education does not augur well" adding "his (Sibal's) thoughts run faster than the deeds of his ministry."
Rao had later clarified that he was not opposed to the bill and welcomed the "reformist approach of the minister". The Congress also did not view Rao's action as indiscipline.
The Bill seeks to set up tribunals at the state and national level to adjudicate disputes related to higher education. The disputes may be related to service matters of teachers; unfair practices of the higher educational institutions; affiliation of colleges; and statutory regulatory authorities.
The tribunals shall include judicial, academic and administrative members. The Bill bars jurisdiction of civil courts over matters that the tribunals are empowered to hear. It also seeks to penalise any person who does not comply with the orders of the tribunals.
The Bill has been listed for consideration and passing this week in the Rajya Sabha.