BHUBANESWAR: The Birla Global University, Odisha Bill, 2015 was passed in the Assembly on Monday amidst Opposition walkout.
The Congress members staged a walkout as their amendments to the clause dealing with admission and reservation of seats for students of the State were not accepted by member in-charge Minister of State for Higher Education Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy.
Alleging that the Bill adopts double standards to deal with admission of students from outside and those from the State, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the enactment of the proposed law is anti-Odisha and pro-Birla.
This argument is reinforced by the fact that the Bill is violating the guideline prepared by the Government for setting up private university in the State. While the proposed university is not a new one, the two institutes offering management and journalism courses are only three years old.
The admission procedure for non-Odisha students will be in accordance with norms and guidelines prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) or other regulatory bodies whereas the guidelines will be superseded by the proposed university for students of the State for fulfilling the quota, Mishra said.
Objecting to clause seven of the Bill which states that the university will provide reservation of 50 per cent for students of Odisha subject to satisfying the minimum qualifying standard for admission, the Leader of Opposition said such a provision will provide scope to the private university to discard even meritorious students. There should be clear provision of 50 per cent reservation of seats for Odisha students.
The Higher Education Minister said procedure for admission has been clarified in Clause 31 and there is no ambiguity that different yardsticks will be followed for selection of students for admission.
Not satisfied with the Minister’s reply, Mishra said his party will not be part of the discussion and the Congress members walked out.
Stating that a new education policy by the Centre is on the anvil, senior BJD member Ranendra Pratap Swain sought to know what will be the fate of the new legislation once the Central policy came into force.
The Bill was passed with a few amendments brought by Government chief whip Ananta Das.