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Updated on: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 10:21 PM IST

FPJ-Ed: Amid uproar, state assembly passes bill to amend Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016

Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant | Twitter/@micnewdelhi

Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant | Twitter/@micnewdelhi

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Amid uproar, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passed the bill proposing the amendments to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 to clip the powers of the Governor and thereby empower the state government in recommending to the Governor the names of the vice chancellors posts. Further, the bill also proposed to appoint the higher and technical education minister as the pro-chancellor of the universities. The state assembly through voice vote rejected the motion moved by the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis and BJP legislator Sudhir Mungantiwar to refer the bill to the joint select committee and later take up for its passage.

The bill was moved by the higher and technical education minister Uday Samant who strongly defended it. However, BJP staged a walkout claiming that the government ran away from the debate. Fadnavis alleged that the universities will become the government department and their autonomy will be in danger.

Fadnavis outside the assembly announced that the opposition will soon meet Governor BS Koshyari and appeal to him not to clear the bill. He also said that they will also challenge it in the court of law and take up with the people and other forums exposing the manner in which the government passed the bill.

As per the amendment, the committee will recommend five names for the post of vice chancellor of which the state government will suggest two names to the Governor who is also the chancellor. The Governor will have to select one of the two names for the vice chancellor's post. As far as the appointment of pro-vice chancellor is concerned, the vice chancellor will suggest names to the state government and thereafter the state government will recommend three names to the chancellor (Governor). One of these names will be appointed as pro-vice chancellor.

The government had proposed these changes based on a high-level committee chaired by former University Grants Commission Chairman Sukhdev Thorat, to suggest improvement in the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, for effective implementation of the National Education Policy, 2020, and improvement in the quality and excellence.

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Published on: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 10:21 PM IST
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