Aiming to regulate their activities, private coaching classes will be placed under the government scanner, with the “Maharashtra Private Coaching Regulation Act 2018”, being introduced in the forthcoming monsoon session of the state legislature. If the Bill is passed in the monsoon session, coaching classes will have to begin registering themselves with the Directorate of School Education from October 2018 onwards. A draft bill puts a total ban on canvassing by coaching classes and also puts curbs on teachers.
The 18-page draft bill covers all aspects of the private coaching business from fee, number of students and type of premises to hiring of tutors. The draft bill stipulates: separate registration by classes for separate stream, inspection of the class after every three years before renewal of registration, classes will have to appoint counsellors as well to provide guidance to students, classes can fix the tuition fees but the government will be able to intervene if it founds that the fee structure is too high.
The classes will be allowed to advertise individually. But they will not be allowed to canvass themselves representing successful candidates of their class. Also they will not be allowed to tie up with schools/colleges. In such a situation registration of school/college can be cancelled. The existing agreements, if any, will be allowed to continue for three months. The teachers already teaching in schools/colleges will not be allowed to teach in private coaching classes. They will have to select either a school or a class.
The classes will have to contribute one per cent of their profit to “education development fund” to be set up by the government. The fund will be utilised to provide training to teachers (this contribution was fixed at 5% earlier). The number of students per batch can be 80 (this limit was 50 in earlier draft). The number of students can be allowed to be increased up to 120 provided better facilities are provided. The classes engaged in imparting coaching related to professional courses will have to register themselves for three years.
Private tuitions at home: Only 5 students will be allowed in one batch. If more students are to be accommodated then the class conductor will have to make better facilities available. Such classes will have to register themselves for 5 years.
However, coaching class owners feel that this is nothing but an attempt to close down private coaching classes and with these measures, over 50,000 private coaching classes will be closed down rendering over 10 lakh teachers and non-teaching workers jobless.
Most of these teachers are women, he said and added that if the government does not withdraw the proposed act, the association will launch a state-wide agitation which will badly affect e students’ career since lakhs of students depend upon private coaching classes. A spokesperson for the “Coaching Classes Directors’ Association (CCDA) said that most of those teaching in private coaching classes are women. Such a move will also affect students’ career since lakhs of students depend upon private coaching classes.
“If the draft goes through in toto, we will have to go in for periodic licence renewal, charge the fee approved by authorities and even reserve seats for students belonging to specified sections of the society. We are already paying 18% GST, professional tax and the regular 30% income tax. It's not like the state has given us free or subsidized land, electricity or building which gives them the moral authority to put so many curbs.”
“The proposed legislation also grants complete access to the local education officer (or any other designated authority) to the premises and the official records of the coaching class. The proposed bill will allow education officials to come and evaluate our teaching material. This is all intellectual property, so why should we share it with an outsider?" he said and added that regulation is welcome but 'not in this format.' "All of us want that there should be regulations because it will help to streamline things. But the clauses included in this draft reek of inspector raj and dictatorial attitude.
“Integrated coaching system, in which colleges allow private tutors to use their campus for coaching, is a rage nowadays because of mutually beneficial economics. However, now this will be completely banned. Registration will be mandatory for every coaching class for which a fee up to Rs10,000 will be charged. Before the registration process is complete, the institute will have to prove that it has premises, which is authorized by a local body, ample parking space, separate washrooms for girls and boys and a secure perimeter. Classes that are renewing their registrations will also have to submit proof of complete tax payments. This will automatically compel the class owners to hike the tuition fees making coaching unaffordable to poor students,” he added.
In a bid to keep an eye on the services offered in trains and at railway stations, the Indian Railways is mulling a proposal to use "undercover mystery men" to check for faults in the services offered by it, a senior official said on Thursday.
According to the Railway Ministry official, connected to the development, the Railways plans to bring "undercover" men, dressed in plain clothes, to monitor the food quality, staff behaviour of the services served onboard the train and at the railway stations while acting as normal passengers.
"They shall buy the food as a normal passenger and give feedback about the quality of the food, staff behaviour, amenities and rate the staff on their performance live to the ministry," the official said.
According to the official, this is one of the many ideas that the Railways is planning to implement to monitor the services it provides.
The official also revealed that the undercover men will have set parameters by which they will rate the amenities by interacting with passengers, staff members and other officials and submit a report based on their findings.
The official also said that the Railway Board is in the process of deciding if the Quality Council of India can be roped in to carry out the "shopping" and if NGOs and other civil society groups can also be engaged for the purpose.
The official said that in the whole process of evaluating the services and the quality of food and amenities the identity of the undercover men/passenger will not be revealed at any point to the field officials in order to ensure that transparency in the process is maintained.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
The 140-year old Parsik Tunnel between Thane and Kalyan on the fast railway track is finally getting necessary treatment to stop water leaking from shanties above. The continuous water leakage from illegal shanties built above the tunnel have endangered lives of lakhs of rail commuters who travel through the tunnel every day. Yet, the Railways took their own sweet time to begin repair work only at the end of this month. In fact, contrary to commitment given by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at a Moneylife Foundation anniversary event on 13th January this year. Mumbai Mirror has reported Wednesday that the Railways has only finally "awarded a contract” to repair a critical part of the 1.3kms tunnel.
Moneylife Foundation had submitted a "Memorandum on Improving Mumbai Suburban Rail Network" to Mr Goyal in January. After a quick look at the issues raised, Mr Goyal and senior railway officials who accompanied him had said, "...for the Parsik Tunnel issue that is mentioned in this (Memorandum), we are in the process to make the tunnel water proof so that next rainy season, there will be no leakage.”
However, all that is done so far is to issue a tender and the tunnel will remain exposed to the vagaries of the monsoon this year as well.
In the Memorandum, Moneylife Foundation had pointed out that water seepage caused by an increase in human habitation over the tunnel is making the Thane to Diva fast track a dangerous route for commuters as well as all trains. This is also endangering lives of lakhs of commuters who travel daily on this route. It was requested to remove all encroachments from the top of the tunnel and its proximity in coordination with the local municipal authority, after conducting a structural audit of the tunnel.
The written response to the Memorandum received by us from the Central Railways on 11 June 2018 says, "Critical encroachments in Parsik Tunnel have been removed in close co-ordination with Civic bodies. Assessment and design of seepage control measures in Parsik tunnel of Mumbai division, Central Railway, has been carried out by CSIR - Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Roorkee. Further action is under process.”
Clearly, things are progressing very slowly.
Details of the Memorandum prepared by well-known railway activists in association with Moneylife Foundation can be read here: https://www.moneylife.in/article/piyush-goyal-promises-international-standards-of-passenger-safety-comfort-convenience-and-speed/52753.html
Going by the reply given by Mr Goyal and senior officials from the Railways, it was expected that the work to make Parsik tunnel leak proof would be over before Monsoon this year. However, according to media reports, this work will actually begin by end of June and would go on for next six months.
"From this month-end, the Central Railway will undertake Rs4.5-crore ambitious project to seal the leaky roof of Parsik tunnel using polyurethane chemical grout. The work will be executed post-midnight, when trains do not operate, over a period of six months," a report from Time of India says quoting railway officials.
Explaining the work, the CR official told the newspaper, engineers will drill around 400 holes, each 5 meter deep, at a distance of 1.25m-2m, and polyurethane chemical will be injected into them at high pressure. It will form foam-like barriers along the crown of the tunnel, which will then solidify in the form of protective ring. But as the water has to be drained, the engineers will also drill holes along the walls of the tunnel. “We will install pipes along the walls to drain out the water,” the official was quoted as saying.
This process of injecting chemical into rock voids that hardens to create a concrete mass and plugs leaks is known as grouting.
A report in April 2018 says the Central Railways had decided to call for tenders to repair the Parsik tunnel. Quoting SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway, the report from DNA, says, “We have called tenders for this improvement work which shall begin soon.”
While the Railways have finally initiated process to repair leakages in Parsik tunnel, unless the illegal shanties and encroachments from above the tunnel are removed, travelling through this part would remain a dangerous thing for daily commuters.