BANGALORE: With the number of applications for the establishment of private universities growing in the State, the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), a statutory body constituted by the State government, has prepared a draft for a new chapter to be included in the Karnataka State Universities (KSU) Act, 2000, which prescribes the mandatory conditions to be met by the private universities.
The draft will specify the minimum land, minimum deposit and other prerequisites to start a private university in the State.
At present, due to lack of a common framework, every new university is governed by an act of its own.
“Our draft for a new chapter in the Karnataka State Universities Act lays down quality parameters that private universities have to adhere to get established. Also, the state-of-affairs is such that there is a need to clearly define the jurisdiction (qualitative and physical) of every private university,” said Dr S C Sharma, vice-chairman, Karnataka State Higher Education Council.
With this, the Council intends to encourage private universities and provide a significant degree of academic freedom.
“For instance, the establishment of an autonomous state-of-the-art Aerospace Engineering university would have to go through a lot of government interference. There has to be academic freedom with less state intervention. That is one of the ideas behind this draft,” added Dr Sharma.
The draft for a new chapter to govern private universities comes in the backdrop of the State Cabinet recently approving a draft bill to set up the M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, a private university, on the lines of Azim Premji University set up in the city.
“Considering the expected increase in the number of applications for private universities, there is a need to define minimum standards for these varsities,” he said.
However, the draft is still with the KSHEC as the absence of a Minister for Higher Education (who is also the chairperson of the KSHEC) is hindering its passage to the state government. Minister Archarya died recently. “Once we have a chairperson, the draft will be sent to the government,” said Dr Sharma.