8 Jan 2020

Standing Committee report on the NIFTEM Bill, 20192 min read

Source: PRS India

The Standing Committee on Agriculture Chaired by Mr. P. C. Gaddigoudar submitted its report on the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.

About the Bill

  • The Bill declares certain institutes of food technology, entrepreneurship, and management as institutions of national importance. 
  • These are the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Kundli and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur

Important observations and recommendations of the Committee

Composition of the Board of Governors: 

  • The Bill provides for a Board of Governors, which will be the principal executive body of the institute. The Chairperson of the Board will be a distinguished person in the field of food science or technology, management, or public administration. The Committee observed that since food processing is a specialized field, the Chairperson should have practical experience in the industry or academia.
  • It recommended that the provision appointing public administrators as Chairperson of the Board should be removed. This would help de-bureaucratize the working of the institute and adopt industry-friendly policies. 
  • It also recommended the inclusion of a Member of Parliament in the Board similar to the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961.  

The maximum limit on fee for technical courses: 

  • The National Fee Committee under the All India Council for Technical Education fixes the maximum tuition and development fee for professional courses. 
  • The Committee noted that NIFTEM, Kundli is charging a higher fee for certain programmes as compared to the maximum fee recommended by the National Fee Committee. 
  • It recommended that the central government should form a high-level Committee to analyze the extent of the excess fee charged by the institute till date and take corrective measures. 
  • The fee for existing courses should be capped from the current academic session. It also recommended the introduction of a new provision in the Bill to cap the fee for various courses in NIFTEMs at a reasonable level.

Tuition fee waiver scheme: 

  • The AICTE provides for a tuition fee waiver scheme for women and economically backward classes for courses in technical institutions. 
  • The Committee noted that NIFTEM Kundli and IIFPT Thanjavur were not providing this fee waiver as required under AICTE Rules. 
  • It recommended the central government to ensure the implementation of tuition fee waiver scheme for economically weaker sections.
  • The Committee also recommended the central government to start a full fee waiver scheme in these institutes for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and divyang students.

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