Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Lok Sabha passes The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.

Through the amending measure inadequately qualified teachers as on March 31, 2015, working after enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 are being given last chance to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019 to hold their jobs as teachers.

Key Facts

The amendments to RTE Act, 2009 will enable the in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have certain minimum standard of qualifications. It will ensure that all teachers attain minimum qualifications as considered necessary to maintain the standard of teaching quality. It will ultimately result in improvement in overall quality of teachers, teaching processes and learning outcomes of children. It will reinforce Government’s emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.

Background

The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years. The section 23(2) of the Act specifies that all teachers at elementary level at commencement of this law if did not possess minimum qualifications under it need to acquire these within a period of five years i.e. by March 2015. However, several state governments have reported that 11.00 lakh teachers at the elementary level are still untrained out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers.

Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Information Technology (PPP) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill, 2017 to allow 15 IIITs established on a PPP model to grant degrees and get statutory status.

The bill also seeks to grant institute of national importance status to IIITs on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

Background

The Union Government had initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational. These engineering and tech schools were established at a cost of Rs. 128 crore each. The centre had contributed 50% of the amount, states 35% and private partners remaining 15% (i.e. 50:35:15 ratio). However, these institutes were not been eligible to grant degrees.

Salient Features of the Bill

Definition of PPP: The bill define PPP as a partnership under a scheme of the centre for establishment of institutes through collaboration between the centre, the state government and industry partners such as individuals, trusts, companies or societies.

Establishment of an institute: State government will identify at least one industry partner for collaboration to establish an institute and submit a proposal to the centre. The centre will examine the proposal based on certain criterias. The centre may reject or accept the proposal with modifications. Upon such acceptance, the centre will enter into a MoU with the concerned state government and industry partners to establish proposed institute.

Role of the industry partner: It will have powers for co-creating programs as per the requirements of the industry; actively participating in the governance of the institutes; and funding and mentoring startups in the institutions.

Board of Governors: It will be the principal policy making and executive body of the institute. The Board of each institute will comprise upto 15 members including Chairman nominated on the recommendation of the centre.

Senate: It will be the principal academic body of each institute. It will specify the criteria and procedure for admission to courses of study; recommend to the Board, creation of teaching and other academic posts; and specify academic content of programmes and courses of study.

Coordination Forum: It will deliberate on matters of common interest to all the institutes. It will advise the centre to include or exclude an institution from the schedule of the Bill.

Funds of the institute:  Each institute will maintain a fund consisting of funds from the government and other sources including grants, fees and donations. Further, each institute will create corpus fund of the net income of the institute and donations for its long term sustainability.