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Can’t regulate coaching centres, Centre tells SC

Private coaching institutes are Rs 35,000 crore business in India. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Private coaching institutes are Rs 35,000 crore business in India. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras  

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The Ministry of Human Resource and Development told the Supreme Court that it is not responsible for “regulating or controlling” unrecognised private entrance coaching centres mushrooming across the country.

Instead, the ministry, in an affidavit filed before a Bench led by Justice H.L. Dattu on Tuesday, said its Constitutional duty is only limited to the “co-ordination and determination of standards” in institutions of higher learning and research.

The Ministry said it is actually the respective State governments’ duty to keep an eye on these coaching centres.

The affidavit was filed in a public interest petition by Students Federation of India, students' wing of the CPI(M) party, asking the Centre to regulate the functioning of “unrecognised” centres functioning in an “institutionalised” way in the name of preparing students for admission to IITs and medical colleges.

The petition, filed through advocate Deepak Prakash, seeks the enactment of a specific law against coaching centres in order regulate the Rs. 35,000-crore private coaching business.

It said these centres were a financial burden to students and parents, but further created psychological dents in them.

Admitting that even students who enter the portals of premier institutes are “in a fragile state of mind,” the HRD ministry noted, “There has been instances of suicides committed by students of premium educational institutes like IITs, NITs.”

Official enquiries have found that students are bogged down by academic load and peer pressure and suffer from “depression, emotional and inter-personal issues”, it said in the affidavit.

However, the ministry said steps have been taken in the past to curb the role of coaching centres.

In this context, it pointed to how the Joint Entrance Examination system has substantially reduced the grip of private coaching centres on students.

The affidavit said a circular was also issued by the CBSE in February 2014, banning coaching institutes from taking classes in school premises.

It said that the Right to Education Act, 2009 also bans teachers from engaging in private tuition.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 8:19:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-not-centre-should-regulate-coaching-centres-hrd-ministry-files-affidavit-in-supreme-court/article6332125.ece

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