Reasons and objects:
Education for social work began in India in the year 1936 with the establishment of the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work at Bombay (now known as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences). Much water has flown under the bridge since then. The number of professional social work educational institutions in the country has multiplied manifold, albeit in an unregulated manner. Social work which is recognized as a distinct profession in the West and other countries of the world has failed to gain professional recognition in India for various reasons, the primary being the absence of any regulatory body at the national level for standardizing social work educational and practice standards. The emerging social realities post LPG have posed fresh challenges before the social work profession, which need to be addressed by services and action for social change in the area of social development, welfare, empowerment and crisis intervention. This in turn requires an army of professionally qualified human power, with specialized knowledge and skills. The effectiveness of social initiatives for welfare, development, empowerment and their initiation through the process of enlisting the participation of all sections of the society in the overall development of the country is directly linked with the quality of human power employed in the welfare and development institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, and also in the people-oriented community-based social movements and services.
It is in this context, and in order to upgrade and enhance the quality of professional education and practice, and also to make the profession more accountable to the public, that the present Bill on the National Council of Professional Social Work in India has been proposed.
National Council of Professional social work in India Bill 2007
Scheme of the Act
Chapter No. Section Title
1. The Act
II ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL
3. Establishment of the council
4. Terms of Office and Condition of Service of
6. Vacation of Office by members
7. Executive Committee and Other Committees
8. Pay and Allowances
III MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
IV FUNCTION OF THE COUNCIL
V RECOGNITION AND REGISTRATION
11. Minimum Standards of Social Work
12. Information on Courses and Examinations
13. Minimum Standards of Education for
Enrolment as Professional Social worker
14. Code of Ethics
VI POWER TO MAKE RULES AND REGULATIONS
15. Power to make Rules
16. Power to make Regulations
VII FINANCE AND REPORTS
17. Council Fund and Budget
18. Annual Reports
19. Accounts and Audit
VIII MISCELLANEOUS PROVISION
21. Delegation of Powers and Functions
A Bill to provide for the constitution of the National Council of professional Social Work in India for the coordination and development of professional social work education and practice and for matters connected herewith or incidental thereto.
Be it enacted in the Parliament in the ----------------year of the Republic of India as follows:
1. (a) This Act may be called the National Council of Professional Social Work in India Act_____________
(b) It shall come into force on such date as the Government of India may, by notification in Official Gazette, appoint.
a) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
i) ‘Council’ means the National Council of Professional Social Work constituted under Section 3 of the Act.
ii) ‘Chairperson’ means the Chairperson of the Council.
iii) ‘vice-Chairperson’ means the Vice-Chairperson of the Council.
iv) ‘Professional Social Work’ means a form of practice which follows-established and acknowledge methods of social work carried out by professional social workers.
v) ‘Social Work Practicum’ means the prescribed supervised instructional component of professional social work training through suitable field placements.
vi) ‘Social Work Professional’ means a person who has undergone prescribed courses of study and practicum in social work and has passed the examination from a recognized institution of social work education’ at the undergraduate and/or post-graduate level.
vii) ‘Social Work Educator’ means a person who holds the prescribed social work qualifications and is engaged in teaching and/ or research in a recognized institution on a part time or full time basis.
viii) ‘Social work Practitioner’ means a person who holds the prescribed social work qualifications and is engaged in social work practice, and/or administration.
ix) ‘Social Work Researcher’ is a person who holds prescribed qualifications in social work and is engaged in full time research in social work.
x) ‘Paraprofessional Social Worker’ means a person who has undergone social work training and has a certificate or diploma other than Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in social work.
xi) ‘Institution of social work education’ means an institution of higher education, an affiliated college, or a department, or a faculty of a University, or a deemed university, and includes institutions of distance learning that provide a Bachelor’s or a Master’s programme in social work.
xii) ‘Recognized social work qualifications’ means any of the qualifications prescribed by the rules and regulations.
xiii) ‘Recognized institution’ means an institution recognized by the ‘Council’ under this Act.
xiv) ‘Register’ means the National Register of Social Work Professionals maintained under this Act.
xv) ‘Rules’ means rules made under this Act.
xvi) ‘Regulation’ means regulation made under this Act.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL
3. Establishment of the Council
a) Constitution of the Council
With effect from such date as the Government of India may, by notification, appoint on this behalf, there shall be constituted for the purpose of this act, a Council to be called the National Council of Professional Social Work in India.
b) Power to acquire property
The Council shall be a body corporate, by the aforesaid name having perpetual succession, and a common seal, with power, subject to the provisions of the Act, to acquire, hold and dispose off property both movable and immovable and to contract and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
c) Composition of the Search Committee
The Search Committee may comprise of two senior social work educators, two senior social work practitioners and a representative of the Government of India not below the rank of a Secretary.
4. Composition of the Council
The Council shall consist of the following members, namely:
The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Government of India, from a panel of names suggeste3d by a Search Committee, to be constituted from amongst eminent professional social work educators and he/she shall not be an officer of the government of India or any State Government.
Vice-Chairperson shall be appointed by the Government of India, from a panel of names suggested by the Search Committee, from amongst eminent professional social work educators and he/she shall not be an officer of the Government of India or any State Government.
iii) Member-Secretary to be appointed by the Government of India, from a panel of names suggested by the Search Committee, from amongst eminent professional social work educators and he/she shall not be an officer of the Government of India or any State Government.
a) Eight social work educators by rotation from the recognized institutions for Social Work Education from different regions.
b) One member each to be nominated by the chairperson, university Grants commission and the Chairperson of distance Education Council to represent UGC and the Distance Education Council respectively.
c) Two ex-officio members, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to be nominated from among the officers of the Central Government to represent (i) the Ministry/Department of Welfare and (ii) the Ministry of Finance or Financial Advisor of the department concerned.
d) Two ex-officio members to be nominated by the Central Government not below the rank of Joint Secretary to represent the Department of (a) Women and Child Development, (b) Labour and Rural Development, (c) Youth, Health and Family Welfare of the Central Government.
e) Four members to be nominated to represent the State Governments and Union Territories from the Departments of Social Welfare or allied departments by rotation, to be specified by Rules.
f) Two members to be nominated by the National Association of Professional Social Workers in India.
g) Four members to be nominated by the Government of India from amongst the practicing Social Work Professionals representing public, voluntary and corporate sectors.
h) One member to be nominated by the School of Social Work, IGNOU, Ministry of MHRD.
TERMS OF OFFICE AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
a) A Person appointed as Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Member Secretary, or any other Member, after commencement of this Act shall, unless he/she is disqualified for continuing as such, under the rules that may be made under this Act, shall be subject to the following terms of office: Will hold office for a term of three years, or until he/she attain the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier.
b) Appointment of officers and other employees of the Council.
i) For the purpose of enabling the Council to discharge its functions efficiently under this Act, the Council shall, subject to such regulations as may be made in this behalf, appoint (whether on deputation or otherwise) such number of officers and other employees as it may consider necessary. Provided that the category of posts equivalent to Group ‘A’ posts in the Central Government shall be subject to the approval of the Central Government.
c) Decision making
All questions which come before any meeting of council shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present and voting and in the event of any equality of votes, the Chairperson in his/her absence, the person presiding or shall have a casting vote.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OTHER COMMITTEES
5. Constitution of Executive and other committees
a) The Council shall constitute, from amongst its members, an Executive Committee, and such other Committees, for general or special purposes as the Council deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.
b) The Executive committee shall consist of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson and not less than 6 and not more than 10members and shall be nominated by the Council from amongst and members, two-third of whom shall be social work professionals.
c) The Chairperson of the Council shall be the Member-Secretary of the Executive Committee.
d) The member-secretary of the council shall be the Member-Secretary of the Executive Committee.
e) The Council shall establish the following Committees, and such others as may be necessary, to carry out the functions assigned to it and shall, if necessary, also co-opt members other than its own on these Committees to facilitate the work.
1. Committee on Training and Accreditation
2. Committee on Policy, Planning, Research and Evaluation.
3. Committee on Curriculum development and continuing Education.
4. Committee on Social Work Practice and Innovation
5. Committee on code of Ethics
6. Any other committee that the council may decide to constitute
MEMBER-SECRETARY OF THE COUNCIL
Pay and Allowances
The Council shall, with the previous sanction of the Government of India, fix the allowances to be paid to the Chairperson. Vice-chairperson, Member-Secretary and other members and determine the conditions of service by rules.
Section 9: Meetings of the Council
i) The Council shall meet at such time and places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings(including the quorum) as may be provided by regulations: Provided that the Council shall meet at least once every year.
ii) The Chairperson, and in the absence of the Chairperson the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside at the meetings of the Council.
iii) If for any reason the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, both are unable to attend any meeting of the council, any other Member present at the meeting, with the consent of the majority, shall preside at the meeting.
FUNCTION OF THE COUNCIL
The Council shall, in consultation with the Universities, including IGNOU and NAPSWI, take all such steps as it may think fir for the promotion, maintenance, co-ordination of standards of education, training, research and practice; and for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, shall:
1. Make recommendations to the Central and State Governments, University Grants Commission and recognized institutions in the matter of suitable policies, plans, and programmes concerning the development of professional social work education and practice;
2. Co-ordinate and monitor social work education and practice and promote its development in the country;
3. Undertake surveys and studies relating to various aspects of social work education, training and practice and disseminate results thereof;
4. Lay down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for persons to be employed as social work professional;
5. Lay down guidelines for granting recognition to the institution as well as existing courses and for starting new courses for social work education and training, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission and for providing physical and instructional facilities, staffing pattern and staff qualifications;
6. Promote innovation in social work teaching, training, research and practice and disseminate the results thereof.
7. Evolve suitable performance appraisal systems, norms, and mechanisms for assessing standards of social work education and practice and review periodically the implementation of the norms, guidelines and standards laid down.
8. Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialization of social work education and practice.
9. Assess the professional social work human power needs in the country including identification of positions to be filled by social work professionals only and those positions where social work could also be one of the professions.
10. Promote the production of indigenous literature in all the official languages of the country;
11. Collect and disburse financial assistance to recognized social work institutions from the Funds of the Council for special and suitable programmes, not funded by the UGC.
12. Promote interaction between professional social work and allied disciplines/professions in the area of teaching, training, research and practice;
13. Undertake and/or promote programmes of faculty development, preparation of teaching aids and field action projects;
14. Act as a clearing house for social work education and practice in the country and liaise with national and international organizations with similar functions;
15. Hold periodic consultation with the Government of India, National Commissions/Councils which have a bearing on professional social work;
16. Take steps for advocacy and promotion of the profession of social work;
17. Draw up a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct for social work educators, researchers and practitioners, and mechanisms for their enforcement and
18. Recommend from time to time to the government of India and the state governments the posts/jobs for which social work education and training should be a preceding condition for appointment.
19. Perform such other functions as the Council may deem fit from time to time.
RECOGNITION AND REGISTRATION
Recognition of Qualifications granted by Universities in India for Social Work Professionals
12. Minimum Standards
1) The Council shall prescribe the minimum standards of social work education and shall advise the UGC for specification of degrees in professional social work for purposes of section 22(3) of the UGC Act, 1956.
2) Recognition of qualifications granted by institutions inside India
i. For pursuing any courses or seeking employment outside India the Council shall be the authorized professional body to certify the qualifications, credentials, credit etc. of the person applying for further studies in social work discipline or employment abroad.
ii. Recognition of qualifications granted by institutions outside India
The Council may enter into negotiations with the authority in any country outside India, or set up a scheme of reciprocity for the recognition of qualifications and, in pursuance by notification on the recommendation of the Council, amend the schedule so as to include therein any qualification which the council by notification may also direct that an entry shall be made in the last column of the schedule declaring that it shall be the recognized qualification only when granted after a specified date.(not clear)
Power to require information as to the courses of study and examinations
13. Information on Courses and Examinations
1) Every University (including IGNOU) college or Institution in India, which grants a recognized qualification in professional social work, shall furnish such information as the Council may, from time to time, require as to the courses of study, training and examination to be undergone in order to obtain such qualifications, as to the ages at which such courses of study and such qualifications are conferred and, generally, as to the requisites for obtaining such qualifications.
2) The Council shall appoint such number of Expert Committees, as it may deem necessary, to visit any university or institution, referred to in Section 13(1) above.
3) Expert Committee
The Expert Committees shall visit any university or institution, which wishes to grant or confer university pre-degree, degree diploma or certificate in Para-professional social work for purposes of recommending to the Government of India or State Government, for recognition of such qualifications diplomas or certificates as recognized social work qualifications.
4) The Expert Committee, appointed under sub-section 13(2), shall not interfere with the conduct of any training or examination but shall report to the council on the adequacy, or otherwise, of the standards of education including the staff, equipment, accommodation, training and facilities.
Withdrawal of recognition
When, upon report by the Export Committee, it appears to the Council (a) that the courses of study and examination to be undergone in, or the proficiency required from the candidates at any examination held by any university or institution, or
(b) that the staff, equipment, accommodation, training and other infrastructural facilities for the instruction and training provided in such university or institution do not conform to the prescribed standards, the Council shall make a representation to the concerned authority as it may deem fit for the withdrawal of recognition.
Subject to other provisions contained in this Act, any qualification included in this schedule shall be sufficient qualification for enrolment on the Register.
MINIMUM STANDARDS OF EDUCATION FOR ENROLMENT AS PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL WORKER
14. Minimum standard for enrolment
1. The Council shall prescribe the minimum standards for enrolment as Social work Professional under its Regulations.
2. Every person, whose name is borne on the Register, shall be entitled to work as Social Work Educator or practice social Work in any part of India.
3. No person other than the Social Work Professional, who possesses a recognized social work qualification, and is enrolled on the Register.
a) Shall practice as Social Work Profession anywhere in India.
b) Contravention and penalty
Any person who acts in contravention of any provision of sub-sections 14(3) (a), (b), (c), and (d) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs.1,00,000/-or both.
1) The Council shall prescribe standards of professional conduct and code of ethics for social work professionals by Regulations.
2) Every person whose name is borne on the Register of the council shall be bound by the code of ethics and its infringement shall attract the provisions of this Act.
FINANCE AND REPORTS
SECTION 20: Annual reports
The Council shall prepare, once every year, in such form and at such time as may be prescribed, an annual report giving a true and full account of its activities during the previous years, and copies thereof shall be forwarded to the Central Government and the Government shall cause the same to be laid before both Houses of the Parliament.
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