BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Opposition Congress made a strong plea for referring the Birla Global University, Odisha Bill, 2015 to a select committee of the Assembly, the House passed the motion for consideration of the private university Bill.
Opposing the Bill in its present form, Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra said the proposed university is violating the State Government guidelines for setting private universities in the state.
As per the State Government guidelines, there will be two types of private universities. In the first category, institutes running for more than 15 years will be upgraded as universities and the second category will be completely new universities.
In ‘De Novo’ category, permission to set up a new university will be given to a person or a group on the basis of proven merit and reputation. These universities will have to introduce various emerging and unique courses.
“The Birla Global University is not coming under the two categories. Since the Birla Group has two institutes in the State, the proposed university is not a new one. Besides, the two institutes have barely functioned for three years,” Mishra said and cautioned that it may face legal consequences.
Criticising the State Government for showing undue interest in pushing the Bill, the Leader of Opposition asked why was there a hurry in passing the Bill.
“The speed in which the Government is trying to pass the Bill has given rise to suspicion. The Government did exactly the same thing in case of Vedanta University Bill and I have no doubt that the present Bill will face the same fate,” Mishra remarked.
Strongly disapproving the manner in which the Bill was pushed, Mishra said the Government introduced the Bill without prior notice to the members of the House.
Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati and Naba Kishore Das also opposed the Bill and urged Speaker Niranjan Pujari to refer it to a select committee.
Responding to Congress members, Minister of State for Higher Education Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy said Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata, a non-profit making Trust, had applied for a global university in 2009. The Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) has come up at Gothapatna. Since all the institutes of Birla are rated highly, the State Cabinet approved its proposal for a global university in 2014.
The Bill will be taken up for clause-wise discussion on Monday.