The vice chancellors want more powers, recruitment rights

Bhopal: The proposed new university act, which the government is bringing with the World Bank’s recommendations and to get loan to the tune of Rs 3,400 crore from it, has got stuck in legal wrangles.

State universities’ vice chancellors, too, raised objections on draft of the new act saying that they were made powerless in the proposed university act.

At a meeting held on Monday to discuss the draft, many vice chancellors said the universities should be given autonomy and more powers to them for better system of higher education.

Vice chancellor said chancellor above them in the proposed hierarchy would create imbalance.

The department of higher education ( DHE) officials conveyed the meeting to get opinion of the vice chancellors on proposed draft. The vice chancellors demanded recruitment powers for teachers and non- teaching staff including registrars. They said, ” The registrar who is the administrative head in the university, is under supervision of the state government.” The DHE proposes to curtail the powers of chancellor and governor in the new act and has made the governor as visitor of the state universities. The Chancellor, the act says, will be appointed by the state government who will be a renowned person. All universities will have different chancellors.

To take powers in its hand from governor and chancellor, the DHE also proposes to form state higher education council to be headed by the chief minister for major and policy- related decisions. The DHE officials said the new act was framed as per World Bank’s experts views and rising need of the higher education.

Copy of Private Universities’ Act

The new university act is a copy of the Private Universities’ Act, 2005, said some vice chancellors in the meeting. Sources said the major provisions and structure proposed in the act is nothing but a copy of the private university structure where governor is the visitor and person who owns private university becomes chancellor to appoint vice chancellor as per his wish.

When vice chancellors raised this point, the DHE officials were shocked.

Later, secretary of higher education JN Kansortiya asked the officials to study the provisions of the Constitution to find out whether provisions made in the new act are as per the concurrent list of the Constitution, along with the University Grant Commission Act 1956. In case of dispute between the new act and the UGC Act, the latter will supersede.

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