With the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) mired in controversies over academic and administrative discrepancies, the first meeting on amending the BPUT Act 2002 discussed a series of proposals which ranged from a fixed academic calendar to representation of students in the academic board.
Chaired by Minister for Employment, Technical Education and Training Pratap Keshari Deb, the meeting worked towards chalking out a draft amendment at the earliest so that it could be presented before the Government.
Since the role of the Minister has grown in administrative matters of the varsity, it was mooted that he could be appointed Ex officio Pro Vice Chancellor, on the lines of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology for which Agriculture Minister is the Pro VC.
It was also proposed that the tenure of VC be reduced from five years to three. There was also a proposal to change the VC appointment process into a more transparent one. Similarly, the meeting proposed that term of deans of constituent colleges be limited to three years.
Suggestions for posting a full-time registrar by choosing an officer from the Odisha Administrative Service (OAS), filling up of the vacancies also cropped up during the meeting. It was also mooted that two different cadres be created for teaching and non-teaching staff of the university and its constituent colleges.
A major proposal was to get students representatives in the academic board of the varsity so that voice of the community could be heard. Currently, the university faces severe students unrest over shortage of staff, delay in examination and publications of results.
The meeting also discussed nomination of two public representatives to the management committee of the technical university.
Talking to this paper, the Minister said, initially the aim was to get the draft ready before Winter session of the Assembly but it might take a little longer as a lot of legwork has to be done to bring about a comprehensive change in the functioning of BPUT.