The HRD Ministry has tweaked a bill aimed at making accreditation of higher educational institutes compulsory, dropping jail term for contravention of provisions, as it prepares to get the legislation passed in the ongoing session of Parliament.
The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, currently pending in Lok Sabha, makes it mandatory for every higher educational institution to get accredited by an accreditation agency to certify academic quality.
Clause 41 of the original bill stated that if any person contravenes or abets the contravention of the provisions, he or she would be liable for punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs 10 lakh or both.
However, after considerable deliberations, meeting stakeholders and keeping the Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendations in mind, the ministry decided to amend the provision, officials said.
While the standing committee had suggested suitable modification of the provision, private educational institutions had also opposed it, saying it could be misused.
The bill establishes a National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Education, which would register and monitor accreditation agencies.
These accreditation agencies would accredit every higher educational institution based on a specified procedure and fees.
Ministry officials are hopeful that the bill would sail through in the current session of Parliament, saying there is broad-based consensus on the legislation among political parties.