- The National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Food Processing Industries, Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, on February 13, 2019. The Bill declares certain institutes of food technology, entrepreneurship, and management as institutions of national importance.
- These institutes are the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Kundli, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur. The Bill declares these institutes as National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management.
- Functions of the institutes: Under the Bill, the functions of the institutes include: (i) providing for instruction, research, and knowledge dissemination in the field of food science and technology, (ii) holding examinations and granting degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions or titles, (iii) determining and collecting fees and other charges, and (iv) instituting and making appointments for academic and other posts, except that of the Director.
- Board of Governors: The Bill provides for a Board of Governors, which will be the principal executive body of the institute. The Board will be responsible for the general superintendence, direction, and control of the affairs of the institute. The powers and functions of the Board include: (i) taking administrative policy decisions, (ii) examining and approving annual budget estimates and development plans, (iii) establishing departments, faculties or schools of studies, and initiating courses or programmes of study, and (iv) creating academic, administrative, and other posts, and determining their terms of service and appointment.
- The Board will consist of 16 members including: (i) a Chairperson, who is a distinguished person in the field of food science, technology or management, or other such field, (ii) the Director, Dean, Registrar, and faculty members, (iii) representatives of central and state governments, (iv) representatives of FSSAI and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and (v) representatives of the food processing industry.
- Senate: The Senate will be the institute’s principal academic body. It will be responsible for maintenance of standards of instruction, education, and examination in the institute. Its members will include: (i) the Director as the Chairperson, (ii) the Registrar, (iii) all full-time faculty at the level of a Professor, and (iv) three academicians nominated by the Board from the fields of food science, technology and management.
- Council: The Bill provides for the establishment of a Council for coordinating activities of all institutes and facilitating interactions for performance improvement. Its functions include laying down the policy framework for functioning of the institutes, and reviewing the achievement of policy objectives, among others.
- The Council will consist of 13 members including: (i) the Minister of Food Processing Industries as the Chairperson, (ii) the Minister of the State for Food Processing Industries, (iii) representatives of the ministries related to food processing, higher education, and finance, (iv) the Chairperson, FSSAI, (v) the CEO, NITI Aayog, and (vi) three industry representatives and three academicians from the field of food processing.
- Funds: The Bill requires each institute to maintain a fund for meeting its expenses. It will be credited with funds received from the central government and other sources, including fees and other charges. The accounts of each institute will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- Settlement of disputes: Under the Bill, any dispute arising out of a contract between the institute and any of its employees will be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration. The Tribunal will consist of an institute appointee, a nominee of the concerned employee, and an umpire appointed by the central government. The decision of the Tribunal will be considered final, after which the matter cannot be raised in any civil court. Further, provisions of other laws related to arbitration will not apply to arbitrations under these tribunals.
- Statutes and Ordinances: The Bill provides for the framing of Statutes and Ordinances for each institute with guidelines regarding administrative and academic matters. The Statutes and Ordinances will be framed by the Board and the Senate, respectively. The first Statute of each institute will be framed by the Council with the previous approval of the central government.
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