'No-detention policy to go from next academic session'
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey on Thursday said the no-detention policy will be removed from the next academic session as almost all states are opposed to this policy.
"No-detention policy will be removed from next academic session as almost all states have expressed their concern over the falling quality of education since the introduction of policy under the Right to Education Act," he told reporters here.
Under the no-detention policy, students in schools are promoted automatically to higher classes every year till the eighth grade.
After a two-day visit to the northeastern state of Tripura, the minister who is in charge of higher education said: "There is a unanimous view of almost all states across the country to remove the no-detention policy from the Right to Education Act."
No-detention policy was statutorily introduced through the historic Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act).
A key component of the RTE Act, the no-detention policy unveiled by the previous UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, came into force on April 1, 2010, with the intention of ensuring that every child aged between six and 14 received school education.
However, for the past many years, concerns have been raised about the negative impact of the policy on the academic performance of students.
On the demand of the Tripura government for one-time relaxation in qualifying marks and exemption of professional qualification for recruiting 15,436 government teachers, Pandey said his ministry had nothing to do with the state government plea, as the Supreme Court had already passed a final judgment on it.
He said that a probe was going on into the massive irregularities in the Tripura University, a central varsity.
"We had already received huge complaints on the wrong-doings in the University. During my visit to the state, I have also received many complaints against the institutions. After receiving the reports of the ongoing inquiry, suitable steps will be taken," he added.
Teaching and non-teaching staff of the Tripura University have been agitating for several months against alleged irregularities in the central varsity.
The Tripura assembly also recently unanimously adopted a resolution, urging the HRD Ministry to take action on the complaints.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently directed a special audit of the university to check complaints of financial, administrative and academic irregularities. The UGC order follows an HRD Ministry directive.
Pandey said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to transform 20 universities into world class universities. "We all are working in this direction," he added.
Appreciating the performance of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala, he said the HRD Ministry would extend full support to further upgrade it.
Addressing the media at the state headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here, Pandey said: "It is a welcome move by six Trinamool Congress MLAs to join BJP. I would like to call upon all the MLAs to vote for NDA's Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind."
Pandey also predicted that there was a good chance of the BJP coming to power in the 2018 assembly elections in the state, as the party was growing under the leadership of Biplab Kumar Deb and Sunil Deodhar.