Union Cabinet Approves Scrapping of No-Detention Clause in RTE Act

The dilution of the clause will allow states the right to hold back students in classes V-VIII if they fail in their year-end exam.

New Delhi: The Union cabinet on Wednesday (August 2) gave a nod to scrapping of the no-detention clause in the Right to Education (RTE) Act, thus allowing state governments to detain students in class V-VIII, PTI reported.

Amid rising concerns of lack of Indian institutes in among the world’s highest rated universities, the cabinet also approved the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) set of regulations to establish ten public world-class institutions in the public sector and as many in the private sector.

The no-detention clause, a key component of the RTE Act, states that “no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education,” which is till class VIII.

Amendmending this provision, which was proposed by the HRD ministry, will enable states to detain students in class V-VIII if they fail in the year-end exam. According to Indian Express, the student will be first given an additional chance to clear the exam, for which they will also be provided with coaching.

The Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) had in August 2016 passed a resolution calling for the removal of the policy. The CABE, which advises the Centre and state governments on education, had made the recommendation on the grounds that promoting students irrespective of how they perform in examinations was causing a decline in academic seriousness.

The said provision will be made in the Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Amendment Bill, according to a PTI report, which the parliament has passed in the current session in order to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the minimum qualifications for appointment by four years. The HRD ministry will reportedly introduce another amendment bill in the next session of parliament in order to change section 16 – the no-detention clause – of the RTE Act.

(With PTI inputs)