BENGALURU: Academics are up in arms against the amendments to the Karnataka State Universities Act (KSU), 2000,that were passed in the Assembly despite protests from the opposition parties.
A group of academics and former vice-chancellors have decided to meet Governor and Chancellor Vajubhai Vala and request him not to give his nod to the amended bill.
A former Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore told Express, “With these amendments, the state government is trying to gain complete control over the state universities, which will disrupt their autonomy.”
Prof M S Thimmappa, former V-C of Bangalore University, said, “Despite the recommendations from three committees, the state government failed to implement the same while bringing in the amendments. In fact, they are saying the proposed amendments were recommended by Prof N R Shetty committee, which is not true.”
“The state universities are controlled by the government when it comes to the appointment of V-Cs. With some more control, it will encourage corruption and unworthy people will be made V-Cs,” he added.
Prof N R Shetty, former V-C of Bangalore University who was chairman of the Universities Act amendment committee in 2011-12, said, “The only recommendation the government took from our committee was to bring all the state universities under a single Act. None of the other recommendations are from our committee.”
The recommendations by the NR Shetty Committee included inclusion of third sex, inter-university transfers and allowing students’ elections for the senate.
Lesson not learnt?
The UGC did not release funds when government amended Hampi Kannada University Act in 1993 and made the CM the Chancellor. “If he (Governor is kept away, they will face problem with the UGC. This happened when they made the CM as the chancellor to Hampi University. After realising that UGC is not releasing grants, they again amended the act and made the Governor the chancellor,” a former VC said.
Present major amendments
Search committee for selection of VC will have two government nominees
Appointments at universities will be done by a committee headed by the higher education minister
Construction and other works will be decided by the committee
All universities will come under single act