BENGALURU: The Karnataka Legislative Council passed four bills on establishing private universities on Wednesday.
The Bills to establish The Atria University, Vidyashilp University, New Horizon University in Bengaluru, and Sri Jagadhguru Murugarajendra University in Chitradurga were passed in the council. The Bill related to St. Joseph University also got support from the members but it was tabled for approval due to a financial implication and it needs the Governor’s nod. The Bill is expected to be passed by Friday.
During the discussion on the Bills, several MLCs said that they were worried about the quality of education in private universities. JD(S) member KT Srikantegowda said that private universities were mushrooming in the state.
“Instead of strengthening the government universities, the government is encouraging private universities, which are lowering the quality and sanctity of universities. In some universities, people join as VCs and retire as VCs. Why shouldn’t the government appoint registrars in private varsities, which has become a business?” he questioned.
Congress MLC CM Ibrahim opined that it appears to be a death knell for education in the state. “Private universities do not require any certificates. We have seen many private engineering colleges shut down and private universities should not have a similar fate. These Bills should be referred to Select Committee”.
BK Hariprasad of Congress demanded that the government should make its stand clear on the reservation in private varsities. “Private universities are just business and there is no reservation for the downtrodden in such institutions. Many oppose reservation claiming the education system will be spoilt by it. Won't paying donation and getting a seat spoil the system?,” he questioned, while RB Thimmapur also joined him and said the Bill had no mention of reservation.
JDS MLC Marithibbegowda said most of the private universities were permitted in the BJP regime. “How can one expect quality education, when there is no limit for admission of students? I suggest the government appoint MLAs and MLCs in the governing council to know what is happing in private universities”.
BJP MLC YA Narayanaswamy feared that the setting up of private universities may lead to social and financial conflict between students of private and government universities. “The government should have control over the examinations or else there will no control on quality. A centralised examination cell should be created to hold exams for all private universities,” he added.
DCM and Minister for Higher Education Dr. CN Ashwathnarayan said the government will establish a Fee Fixation Committee headed by a retired judge. “We will have control over the private universities as we are introducing Unified University & College Management System, which enables the government to fetch the real-time data related to administration of government and private universities”.
Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Dr. BR Ambedkar School of Economics University (Amendment) Bill renaming the institution as ‘Dr. BR Ambedkar School of Economics University, Bengaluru’ to esteem the reputation of BR Ambedkar was also passed.