M A I N   N E W S

Punjab to have National Institute of Law
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
The Punjab Council of Ministers today approved the draft of Governorís address for the Budget session starting here on Monday besides clearing proposed amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act.

It also gave the go ahead for setting up of a National Institute of Law besides clearing proposals for structural reforms in the management of Government Medical and Dental Colleges for improving the quality of education in these institutions. Besides, a proposal for introducing a Bill in the Vidhan Sabha for regulating fee in privately managed medical and dental colleges was also cleared. Initiative on reforms in nursing education, too, got the nod of the Council.

Though the Council also once again cleared recruitment of 10000 teachers for primary and 2000 teachers for upper primary schools in the state but like earlier decisions no date was given for starting the process.

A spokesman of the government said primary teachers would be recruited on regular basis by Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)/ Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). The teachers so recruited would not be transferred except for un-married girls who would be allowed one-time transfer on marriage subject to the availability of the post. With this decision, Punjab becomes the first state to provide alternative delivery mechanism in the field of education.

Amendments to Sections 6, 14, 19, & 39 of the Punjab Value Added Tax Act were also cleared for presentation as a Bill in the Budget Session.

Setting up of a National Institute of Law with the status of a University for imparting legal education to students also got the clearance. The Council also cleared amendment to Section 103 of the Motor Vehicle Act on the pattern of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka for hiring private buses on the basis of the distance covered by them (kilometer scheme) and the Golden Rozgar Bus Service of Punjab Roadways.

By another decision, the Council also approved initiation of steps for rehabilitation of existing biotech units and Induce investment in new units based on the recommendations of national policy so as to promote Biotech Tissue Culture Units in the state.

The Council also agreed for the amendment to Rule 2 part A of Punjab Civil Services (Judicial Branch) Rules 1951 enabling fresh law graduates to compete for the judicial services even without the requisite experience of three years at the bar thus reducing the minimum age of 24 years to 21 years. It was decided to place a Bill in the Vidhan Sabha for the enhancement of War Jagir and to amend the East Punjab War Awards Act 1998.

Besides clearing a proposal for structural reforms in management of Government Medical and Dental Colleges to provide world quality education, research and patient care, it also gave its nod to the Punjab Private Professional Health Educational Institutions (Regularisation of admission and fixation of fee) Act, 2006 in pursuance of the 93rd Constitutional Amendment.

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