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Arjun eye on private varsities

New Delhi, Aug. 30: Arjun Singh has a second quota bill ready — for unaided deemed universities.

“A decision has been taken to bring a separate bill (which, too, provides for a 27 per cent other backward classes quota). It will be brought in due course,” the human resource development minister (in picture) said today.

The first quota bill, for educational institutions managed or aided by the Centre, was tabled in Parliament on the last day of the monsoon session before being sent to a standing committee.

Arjun’s ministry had prepared the two bills together — one for aided institutions and the other for unaided ones. It had placed both before the cabinet, which decided to sanction the first bill but said more discussion was required before the second bill got the nod.

The ministry had separated the two groups after the Prime Minister asked it to keep the unaided institutions out. Also, the ministry wanted to hedge its bets.

It feared that the inclusion of unaided and aided institutions in the same bill might bring court action, sealing the quota’s fate in government institutions, too. Imposing quotas on unaided institutions was always going to be more controversial and difficult to push through.

The ministry is waiting for the first bill to be passed before it again places the second bill before the cabinet.

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