BENGALURU: THE Karnataka Legislative Council on Wednesday witnessed uproar with members across parties raising their voices against increasing the retirement age of Vice-Chancellors of state universities.
Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy tabled the bill to amend the Karnataka State Dr Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University Act, seeking to increase the retirement age of the varsity Vice-Chancellor to 67 from 65, which was passed. Next, the minister tabled the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (Amendment) Bill, to increase retirement age of Vice Chairman in Higher Education Council to 70 from 65.
Rayareddy defended his move, stating that the post is either for a retired V-C or a retired IAS officer. In Karnataka, the retirement age of the V-C is 67. Therefore, the government has proposed to increase the retirement age of the Vice Chairman.
However, members from all parties opposed this. Congress MLC V S Ugrappa asked, “Why should the V-C’s age be increased to 67? By increasing the retirement age, we are depriving youngsters of the administration post.” Voicing his support, BJP’s Kavatagimutt said the retirement age of the V-C was 60, which was increased to 62, then 65 and now it is 67 years. It will become 70 years in future. “Where should the young and fresh minds go?’’
JD(S) floor leader Basavaraj Horatti joined in, saying with increase in aged people in the administration level, many of them are not in a position to walk on their own, and they need someone’s help.
BJP’s Bhanuprakash pointed out that the voting age has been reduced to 18 from 21, adding that when everyone is moving towards a young India, increasing the age of V-Cs is ridiculous.
Other senior members like Ramachandregowda and Puttanna accused the minister that he might have brought in the bill to ‘accommodate’ someone close to him. While JD(S) MLC Ramesh Babu said with too many senior citizens, the Education Council has become a rehabilitation centre, Horatti termed it as an old age home.
However, the bill was passed.