''Govt planning Bill to make capitation fee cognisable offence''

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Mumbai, Feb 7 (PTI) Government will soon bring abill which will make levy of capitation fee by educationalinstitutes a cognisable offence, Union HRD Minister KapilSibal said today.

Educational Malpractices Bill proposes to prosecuteinstitutions who provide wrong information and levy capitationfee, he said, delivering the 8th Nani A Palkhiwala MemorialLecture on ''Emerging Scenario in the Field of Education''.

Sibal said he was for opening up of the educationsector and ending the license raj.

"The new bill does not propose for inspection ofeducational institutions. Instead, at the start of theacademic year, the institutions have to themselves declare ontheir website information about infrastructure, fees, facultyand the kinds of service they provide. The information will bestored in the HRD Ministry and if the facts are wrong, theMinistry shall prosecute the institutions," he said.

The Centre will announce the national vocationalqualification framework in May. The framework will providevocational courses for students from Std 9 to 12th, he said.

Stating that education was all about expanding one''smind, Sibal said Foreign Education Providers Bill envisagescollaboration with Indian universities and investment in theskill development courses.

The minister lamented that a large number ofpoliticians own educational institutions and this was standingin the way of reforms in the key sector.

Education policies needed to be developed on what thechildren want and not what the government wants, he said. "Ibelieve democracy is freedom in the classroom." .

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