The process of converting the Bengal Engineering and Science University in Sibpur, West Bengal, into an institute of national importance got the approval of Parliament today.
The National Institute of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was passed by the Rajya Sabha after Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor moved it in the Upper House in the absence of HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in December.
BJP, however, raised objections to Tharoor moving the bill in the absence of Raju and sought to know if he has sought the permission of the Chair in doing so.
BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad raised a point of order saying a bill can be moved only by a cabinet minister and not by a junior minister unless permitted to do so, at which Kurien said the Chair has allowed him to do so.
Prasad also sought to know why Pallam Raju, a Lok Sabha member of Congress from Andhra Pradesh, was not present in the House for passage of the Bill. The Rajya Sabha was to take up the crucial Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill that sought to create a new state of Telangana.
The legislation also sought to transform the university into Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).
IIEST will be an institute of international standards and produce quality manpower for the strategic sector and quality teachers for institutions of engineering and science education.
The Bill also seeks to establish a common central council for institutes such as NITs, IISERs and IIESTs.