Rajya Sabha passes RTE Act amendment to abolish no detention policy; Left parties walk out

L. Hanumanthaiah of the Congress speaks on the NCTE (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on January 3, 2019. Photo: YouTube/Rajya Sabha TV  

On the second working day of 2019, Lok Sabha saw the suspension of 19 members — 7 from the AIADMK and 12 from the TDP — for storming into the Well of the House.  The Rajya Sabha discusses the resolution to impose President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, and approved the move by a voice vote. The House also passed the the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

 

6 p.m.

 

RTE Act amendment to abolish no detention policy

House now takes up the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018. Mr. Javadekar moves the Bill after Mr. Dalwai of the Congress withdraws his amendment.

The amendment’s objects and reasons

“The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (the Act) provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.

“Section 16 of the Act provides that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. This provision was made in the said Act because examinations are often used for eliminating children who obtain poor marks, which compels children either to repeat the same grade or leave the school altogether. It was felt that compelling a child to repeat a class is both de-motivating and discouraging.

“In recent years, States and Union territories have been raising the issue of adverse effect on the learning levels of children as section 16 does not allow holding back of children in any class till the completion of elementary education. Therefore, in order to improve the learning outcomes in the elementary classes and after wide deliberations with all the stakeholders, it is proposed to substitute section 16 so as to empower the appropriate Government to take a decision as to whether to hold back a child in the fifth class or in the eighth class or in both classes, or not to hold back a child in any class, till the completion of elementary education.”

 

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD, Bihar) says taking away no detention policy will do irreparable damage to the cause of the Bill. 

Chhaya Verma (Congress, Chhattisgarh) strongly opposes abolition of no detention policy, would increase dropout rate.  

N. Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK, Puducherry) says he fears the dilution of the amendment as there's no data on how many States would implement the provisions. While no detention has brought down dropout rates, it also has brought down quality of elementary education.

Anubhav Mohanty (BJD, Odisha) makes a case for continuous comprehensive assessement. If children are not learning, it's not their fault he says adding instead of implementing the RTE Act, the govt is blaming it on no detention policy. “We cannot penalise our children for the govt's faults.”

The other speaker has been called. But Mr. Mohanty continues to speak.

Ashok Siddharth (BSP, U.P.) speaks now. Makes case of one nation, one education on the lines of the PM’s one nation, one tax policy.  

Disagreement over the extension of the House's time to complete the debate.

D. Raja (CPI, Tamil Nadu) is called to speak. He says the Bill should have been referred to a select committee for taking the views from academicians, psychologists and psychiatrists. Minister can defer this Bill, he says. What happened to the Kasturirangan Committee report on the new education policy, he asks. The govt doesn't have a mechanism to update syllabi whenever its necessary.

Husain Dalwai (Congress, Maharashtra) is called to speak. While Deputy Chairman Harivansh allotted two minutes, Chairman aloots one more minutes for the speaker. While remembering Savitriba Phule, we should also remember Fatima Sheikh who was with her, he says.  Thirty per cent of Muslim children are not in the purview of education, he says. Instead of doing away with no detention policy give more money to education, he adds. 

Mr. Javadekar rises to reply.  This Bill is to give power to States, he says. 

Bill is put to vote. Motion is adopted by voice vote.

Clause by clause consideration. The inevitable Subbarami Reddy's name comes up. He's not present.

Mr. Javadekar moves to amend 2018 to 2019. Motion adopted.

Left party MPs walk out opposing the passage of the Bill.

The Bill is passed. Mr. Naidu says: “Minister, the message should be no detention, but retention.”

The House adjourns for the day.

4.45 p.m.

 

Rajya Sabha debates NCTE (Amendment) Bill

The House is now discussing the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill was to grant retrospective recognition to Central/State institutions that are conducting teacher education courses without NCTE approval. This has been done as a one-time measure to ensure that the future of students studying in these institutions is not jeopardised. All institutions running teacher education courses, such as B.Ed and D.El.Ed have to obtain recognition from the NCTE under section 14 of the NCTE Act.

The NCTE Act, 1993, came into force in 1995 and applies to all parts of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on July 23, 2018.

M.V. Rajeev Gowda (Congress, Karnataka) speaks on the Bill.

 

Ravi Prakash Verma (Samajwadi Party, U.P.) highlights shortage of teachers, and the quality of training. “Those coming into teaching have no love for teaching children. They would have taken up even the job of a safai karmachari if the salary is more,” he says.

While chastising the wedge created between rich and poor children, Mr. Verma urges the government to use the demographic dividend in the right way and not to make it a liability. 

Abir Ranjan Biswas (Trinamool Congress, West Bengal) rises to speak. It's his maiden speech. Granting retrospective recognition to “a half-baked training” would jeopardise the intention of raising teaching standards, he says and goes on to praise the facilities provided by the Trinamool government back in his State.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD, Bihar) calls the Bill a post facto arrangement and stresses that it should be the rarest of the rare case. Says it's time to bring back the debate on the Common School System.  

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD, Bihar) speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill on January 3, 2019. Photo: YouTube/Rajya Sabha TV

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD, Bihar) speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill on January 3, 2019. Photo: YouTube/Rajya Sabha TV  

 

Sushil Kumar Gupta (AAP, NCR) says due to teacher training institutions RTE has failed and demands quality training for teachers in the National Capital Region.

Husain Dalwai (Congress, Maharashtra) urges HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to remove contract system in hiring teachers.

Veer Singh (BSP, U.P.) says NCTE should take into consideration aided teacher training institutions. Primary teachers should not be put into other duties like census, he suggests adding that all primary schools should teach English.

Mr. Naidu differs. “We should teach in maatru baasha first and then go for English,” the Chairman says. “Maatru baasha is like eye, English is like spectacles.” Mr. Singh vocally raises his opposition to the Chair's view, which has been ruled out of record.

Binoy Viswam (CPI, Kerala) speaks on the Bill. Erosion of values should be addressed urgently, he says. I support the Bill with a lot of reservations, he concludes.

L. Hanumanthaiah (Congress, Karnataka) says, “You have brought in the Bill to legalise illegal (teacher training) colleges.”

Citing a UNESCO report he says India is second in a list of 128 countries in terms of teacher shortage. 

He says we are running a democracy with 50 crore illiterates. Mr. Naidu urges him not to quote such figures as it would send a “wrong message”.

 

Mr. Javadekar rises to reply to the discussion, defends integrated BEd course saying hereafter permission will be given only to run integrated BEd courses.  He also points out State NCTE committees have more power than the Central one and this will be corrected.  Online and offline courses have been initiated for training/continuous training of teachers. “On the birthday of Savitribhai Phule we should pass the Bill,” he concludes.

Motion is adopted by voice vote. Clause by clause consideration.

Mr. Javadekar's amendment to Clause 1 to change the year 2018 to 2019 has been adopted. 

Bill moved as amended. Bill passed as amended.

4.30 pm

 

Rajnath Singh on Kashmir issue

Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks:  "J&K is considered a sensitive State. Proclamation under Article 356 has not happened for the first time. During Congress rule, it happened several times. Once there was President rule. For six years at a stretch....Now it is being projected that everything happened due to us and we did not allow any other government, there was no such conspiracy. After the government fell, the Governor approached all parties, at the time. None of them were in a position to form government. Six months later, it was being said that Congress, PDP and NC were coming together to form government, but the Governor had not been told. So, finally he had to recommend proclamation to President."

On sense of alienation, the Home Minister said that no one took the initiative to mitigate it after Partition.

"A large part or Muslim population, which included those from J&K, had decided to stay with India...all steps should be taken to mitigate the sense of alienation, not as appeasement politics. Why the situation in J&K reached such a level during your rule?  it would take me half an hour to list the development works undertaking during the BJP's rule in the State. Five new Reserve battallion we have given to J&K at a cost of Rs.255.crore. 5000 youth will be recruited. In the past four years, orders were issued for recruiting 10000 SPOs in State police; 7000 already inducted. We have taken steps to strengthen the grassroot democracy, we succeeded beyond expectation in doing so in recent Panchayat polls. People talk about terror incidents, have they happened first time? In 1995, 5938 terror incidents took place. Our effort is that not even one incident takes place in J&K..i have visited the State and interacted with the stake-holders, appealed for peace. The Hurriyat did not respond to our initiative, we kept the door open for talks. I ask all the senior leaders of J&K as to the initiatives that should be taken to better the situation. We are ready to implement them"

"People have talked about amendments made by the Governor (responding to Ghulam Nabi Azad). I want to know which of these amendments are not in favour of the State.  We have increased financial powers of Panchayats by 10 times, should we not strengthen the grassroot democratic set up? All initiatives have been taken considering the State's betterment. Whatever suggestions are there for improving the conditions in the State, I am ready to consider..but to say that we are responsible for the situation is absolutely wrong..Whatever security forces would be required for conducting elections in the State, we are ready to provide. If Election Commission wants to hold State Assembly election with Lok Sabha polls, then government has no objection. "

The resolution has been passed by a voice vote.

4.10 pm

 

'Kashmir is being alienated'

Mir Mohammad Fayaz of PDP, questions the killing of Kashmiris, accuses the successive  Central government of the worsening of situation in the State which decided to be with India. "Kashmir is getting alienated from the country"

Majid Memon says the government should reduce use of muscle power to bring peace in the State. "When PDP-BJP government fell an alternative was available..why was it not given an opportunity...why Kashmir is having no government and people are being killed everyday."

Rajaram of BSP says about 35% residents of Jammu are Dalit and they have been agitating for reservation for quite long. "In ceasefire violations people suffer losses, but they are not getting proper compensation." 

 

Sanjay Singh of AAP: "We all believe that from Kanyakumari to Kashmir the country is one. But if in some parts of the country, owing to the Centre's approach, people think that they are being discriminated against. What is your behaviour with the people of J&K, in Kathua an eight year old girl gets raped..I am ashamed..BJP's three Ministers come out in support of the accused. You are running governments from Raj Bhavans across the country, it is important to save the democratic values of the country."

3.45 pm

 

Debate on President's rule in Kashmir

RJD's Manoj Jha says parties of two opposite ideologies had come together in J&K to form government. "If Kashmir is the integral part of country then why an indifferent approach towards it. Kashmir is being demonized. They (government) will have to make effort to understand alienation, he says. I don't doubt the Home Minister's personal sensitivity on the issue..why there was no Lok Sabha bypoll in Anantnag"

 

D. Raja, CPI, Tamil Nadu, speaks on the issue. He spoke about the use of Article 356 in J&K. "Referring to the use of Article 356, I consider it as unconstitutional, undemocratic act on part of the Centre. Ordinarily Article 356 should remain as a dead letter, said Ambedkar. When we invoke it, we admit that the situation is extraordianry.  Who brought about this situation? It is the BJP which withdrew from the govt.  Kashmir is considered to be paradise. Whether we will save that paradise or lose it...Look at the young people there.. why is there unrest among young there.. they are well-informed. They are born in conflict zone. Why there should be sense of alienation among the young people of J&K? You impose President's rule. When is the Centre planning to hold elections? Can the Centre answer this?  We have to win the confidence of the young people. We are trusting only the military instead of talks and people. Are you in a position to explain your stance?"

3.30 pm

'Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India'

BJD's Anubhav Mohanty says no one talks about the views of people of J&K, we got to know what all happened from 1947 to 2018, but no one said how to resolve the issue as it stands today. "I don't wish to do politics over my J&K brothers and sisters. Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India, what Congress did during their tenure is known to us, what happened in the past four and half year is also known to us, it is not enough to tell Kashmiri brothers not to take up arms, they need love and compassion.

TK Rangarajan of CPI(M) said that,"The Governor has no business to decide that parties with opposing ideologies cannot form a govt. Please respect SC judgment. Bommai judgement has already told us how to do this job. The govt has worsened the situation of the state. The real sufferers are the Kashmiris. I would like to inform the Home Minister that over 300 civilians have died across 3 years. No enquiry has been conducted into these deaths. No one has been held accountable. The BJP is for the communal polarisation in view of the elections. Please tell us when are you going to conduct the elections as well. We need to know about the elections."

 

3 pm

Rajya Sabha discusses Kashmir issue

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks about Kashmir issue at Rajya Sabha. SP's Ram Gopal Yadav supports the resolution under Article 356 with respect to J&K. He says he does not wish to rake up with unpleasant past on how situation worsened in the State

 

Derek O'Brien of the AITC speaks on the issue: "We tend to leave out Ladakh and Leh in discussions on J&K. Tourism can be revived. But they need a break on GST. Nationalism isn't a copyright of one party. We don't want to listen to lectures about nationalism from one party. When you claim to be a nationalist, then don't mess around. You pretend to be nationalist, ultra-nationalist but you are actually anti-national. Kashmir is a paradise. I would urge everyone and the govt not to turn it into hell." 

2 pm

Lok Sabha adjourned for the day

Lok Sabha adjourns for the day as suspended MPs continue to protest in the Well of the House.

1 pm

All issues raised by Cong on Rafale clarified by SC: Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj says in Rajya Sabha that there is no controversy in the matter, except in minds of the opposition party leaders.

The Congress members including former prime minister Manmohan Singh stage a walkout.

Congress leader Anand Sharma in his supplementary query demanded that the government make public the minutes of the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French President Fracois Hollande held last year on the Rafale deal in a bid to settle the controversy once for all.

To this, Swaraj says, “Anandji, there is no controversy. Controversy is there in your mind. All the controversy issues that you (Congress) raised, the Supreme Court has clarified on each of them. Please don’t use the word controversy again.”

She says, “The whole country knows there is no controversy. The Supreme Court has cleared each issue. If you still think there is a controversy, then no one can reply.”

 

12 noon

Lok Sabha reconvenes; TDP, AIADMK members suspended

Lok Sabha reconvenes amidst cries of "We want justice! We want justice!"

"You have come to the well of the House and constantly abusing the rules of the House. I will call your names," the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan warns protesting TDP, AIADMK members.

The Speaker then proceeds to suspend the members for four days, by which the Winter Session of Parliament would have concluded. The Speaker subsequently adjourns the House till 2 p.m.

11: 40 a.m

Discussions in Rajya Sabha

A. Navneethakrishnan, who was asked by Chair to withdraw from House yesterday along with other AIADMK and DMK MPs calls this move undemocratic. Kanimozhi also pleads to be heard.

INC's G.C Chandrasekhar raises the need for compulsory Kannada in Karnataka schools.

NCP MP Vandana Chavan raises the issue of skewed ratio of aspirants in UPSC which disfavours the candidates from rural areas.

11: 30 a.m

Rahul Gandhi's open book exam for Modi

 

11: 15 a.m

Lok Sabha adjourned

Lok Sabha has been adjourned till noon following protest by AIADMK and TDP members over various issues.

10.40 a.m.

Suspended AIADMK MPs continue protests

Suspended AIADMK MPs stage a protest demonstration against construction of dam across Cauvery River at Parliament house in New Delhi on Thursday.

Suspended AIADMK MPs stage a protest demonstration against construction of dam across Cauvery River at Parliament house in New Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

Twenty four AIADMK members were suspended by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on January 2 for the next five consecutive sittings for protesting and creating ruckus continuously in the House over the Cauvery issue. The Speaker had  suspended 24 members of AIADMK under rule 374 (A) that allows the Lok Sabha Speaker to suspend members in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the Well of the House or abusing the rules of the House, among other things.

Read more
 

Lok Sabha | 10.10 a.m.

 

The following are the Bills that are scheduled to be taken up in Lok Sabha today:

  • Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018
  • Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

Besides this, discussions on issues relating to Rafale Deal, natural calamities in various parts of the country, particularly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha with special reference to cyclones like Gaja, Titli, etc. are expected to take place.

Rajya Sabha | 10.00 a.m.

 

The following are the Bills that are scheduled to be taken up in Rajya Sabha today:

  • National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018

The Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 is likely to be withdrawn.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 8:38:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-live-lok-sabha-adjourned-till-noon-following-protests-by-aiadmk-and-tdp-members/article25896764.ece

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