Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Home News Reports Does Smriti Irani's HRD ministry have plans to regulate private IIT coaching centres?

Does Smriti Irani’s HRD ministry have plans to regulate private IIT coaching centres?

For some reason, news related to the HRD ministry often gets reported in a not-so-factual manner. Take for example last month, where Minister Irani herself had to take to twitter to call out false news being peddled by The Hindu. This time, we have another news story doing the rounds. This relates to IITs, which come under the purview of HRD ministry and are in a fair bit of controversy for various reasons.

First the news being reported:

Economic Times said: “HRD Ministry….plans to check influence of (IIT) coaching centres”

A similar news item was in TheNewsMinute.com: “Government could now regulate fees in IIT JEE coaching centres “ .To be fair to them, they merely aggregated a news-report from The Hindustan Times

The Hindustan Times also said: “If the human resource ministry (HRD) ministry has its way students may have to shell out much less for JEE coaching.

Although the above lines gave the impression that the Government was planning such a move, all the stories in their opening lines itself clarified that this “move” was suggested by a panel set -up by the HRD ministry. So the assertion made my media, that the Government or HRD ministry is doing something like regulating coaching classes is misleading. Further, these are only recommendations by a panel, which have been made public for widespread consultation and feedback. So jumping the gun and saying the HRD ministry is planning something is too far off the mark.

The panel itself is made up of very eminent people including 2 chairpersons of Board of Governors of 2 IITs. So the panel, its credibility, its apolitical nature, should not be a matter of debate.

Committee of Eminent Persons

The problem with this “suggestion” of the panel, to regulate coaching classes and their fees is the fact that it goes starkly against the principle of free markets. The Government has no role regulating how much private businesses charge a student. A free market dictates that such decisions be left to the market. So the question arises, why does the Government have to ask a panel to give “recommendation” on such issues?

This is where there is a twist in the tale. If one looks at the Report of the committee, which is available in public domain, it clearly says that the panel was formed for “to review the current JEE system for admission into IITs“. Going into the exact terms of reference:

The terms of reference of Committee of Eminent Persons review the current JEE system for admission into IITs is as under:

  1. To recommend structure of a single exam that tests the understanding, conceptual clarity, and innovative thinking of students for admission to IITs and NITs.
  2. To find means in the exam structure that would reduce the pressure on students and reduce dependence of students on the coaching centres, without diluting the quality of testing.
  3. To appreciably reduce the time taken from conduct of the entrance exam to declaration results, from the current 3 months.
  4. To review and recommend reforms if any needed in the common counseling process so that admissions in IITs, NITs, IISERs are completed without any difficulty.

As can be seen, the Terms of Reference state that the panel was set up to give recommendations related to exams and admission processes. Nowhere does it mention that it was asked to give “suggestions” on regulating fees at private coaching institutions. Then why did this panel “recommend” something which it was never asked for? Did it even recommend something like this?

If we scroll down to the end of the report, we see a section titled “Recommendations”:

Untitled
Recommendations of the panel

As can be seen, all the recommendations are only in the field of examinations and there is not a single clause which talks about “regulating fees of coaching institutions”. Even the press release issued by PIB, lists out the recommendations and again has no mention of the “regulation fees of coaching institutions”. So from where did this “recommendation” come?

A deep dive into the report takes us to the section titled “Deliberations on reducing the effect of Coaching Institutions”. It is from here that all the quotes on coaching industry have been picked up. The terms picked by media: “ lucrative ‘industry’”, ” not always mindless profit”, “regulatory body for the coaching institutions“, are all picked from this section. The specific paragraph under this “Deliberations” part which talks about regulation is:

3. It is suggested that it would be helpful if there is a regulatory body for the coaching institutions. As an example, An All India Council for Coaching for Entrance Examinations (AICCEE) maybe established with the demand that Coaching Institutes are well equipped and maintain healthy and best practices as well as charge regulated fees.

This is where there is a slight confusion. Although the paragraph starts with “It is suggested”, the paragraph itself is in the “Deliberations” part of the document and such a topic does not find even a remote mention in the “recommendations” part. So is it fair to say these are “recommendations”? Considering the fact that as the terms of reference state, it was never within the scope of the panel to opine on anything related to this?

So to sum up, deciding on regulation of fees of private coaching institutions was not part of the mandate of the panel. The panel, made up of experts, deliberated on this, but explicitly left this out of their recommendations. The PIB release, which summarised the recommendations did not mention this as a recommendation. Even if someone were to take a stand that it was a recommendation, it is only that, just a recommendation, which is kept open for public consultation. And in-spite of all this, some sections of the media reported that the Government plans to do something like this!

P.S. As of now, since the suggestion to regulate coaching classes is neither a part of recommendations, nor a part of the scope of the committee, nor considered as a recommendation by the Government in its press release, it is far too premature to bring up this issue. But if in the future any such action is taken, it needs serious thought.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Gaurav
co-founder, OpIndia.com

Related Articles

Trending now

Did a journalist inadvertently end up revealing real reason why Rahul Gandhi ended his West Bengal rallies?

COVID-positive Rahul Gandhi cancelled his public rallies in West Bengal, but did not disclose it while announcing the same. He, instead, claimed it was being done in view of raging pandemic.

Greta Thunberg-inspired student climate activist group in New Zealand disbands itself for being ‘racist and white-dominated space’

School Strike 4 Climate Auckland said that they have turned white dominated racist group that ignored BIPOC voices and demands

‘Celebrities project themselves as messiahs’: Bombay HC orders probe on how Sonu Sood obtained Covid-19 drugs

The AG said that Sonu Sood received the anti-Covid drugs from several pharmacies located inside Lifeline Care Hospital in Goregaon.

Prices of key commodities come down, edible palm oil down by 19% while pulses see a drop in prices by 8%

The government apart from considering reducing taxes on vegetable oil imports after cooking oil prices hit record highs last month, is also working at promoting domestic production of oil crops.

Congress student body NSUI expels 7 leaders for posting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on official WhatsApp group, says it is ‘anti-party activity’

7 NSUI leaders in East Singhbhum unit in Jharkhand expelled by the organisation for posting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on official WhatsApp group

Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan awarded UN medals for outstanding performance

135 Indian soldiers award by UN for their outstanding performance in UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan.

Recently Popular

Salman Khan’s ‘Radhe – Your Most Wanted Bhai’ earns Rs 17,792 over three days from two theatres in Maharashtra: Details

Citing low occupancy, the theatres screening Salman Khan starrer Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai have reduced number of its daily shows

As Yogi Sarkar lodges FIR against Twitter, 8 others, Alt News co-founder Zubair deletes fake hate crime video: Details

The UP Govt has initiated action against Twitter for failing to take down tweets that spread misinformation about a crime in the state.

Here is the truth about the land deal by Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra and how the allegations by likes of AAP are baseless

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra and its head Champat Rai bought an additional piece of land for the purposes of additional construction to facilitate pilgrims who would be travelling to Ayodhya

Virtual hearing embarrassment: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi caught attending the court proceedings without pants

Abhishek Manu Singhvi was caught attending court proceedings in boxer shorts when one of the screens accidentally fell off and showed the naked legs of the senior advocate

Nikhil Kamath disregarded Viswanathan Anand’s request to not use his name in public communication after cheating, says grandmaster’s wife

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath recently apologised for using unfair means to defeat Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand

British Pakistani rapper Frenzo Harami spews venom on Hindus. Here is what we know about him

Pakistan-born British rapper, who used to sell drugs before becoming a rapper, spoke the language of terrorists, used Gaumutra jibe
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
553,762FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe