BHUBANESWAR: A joint action committee formed by Odisha university teachers has called for a statewide silent protest seeking withdrawal of the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 and the proposed legislation in this regard.
Terming the ordinance as draconian, the committee has demanded its complete withdrawal and appealed the State Government to put a stop to the ‘hasty efforts’ to replace it with a legislation for which the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has been tabled in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly.
The entire university ecosystem for educational excellence would collapse if the new legislation that encourages further bureaucratisation of the system in the State is enacted, said convenor of the committee Prof Kunja Bihari Panda.
He said the committee was formed after taking views of more than 300 faculty members of the State universities who have opposed the ordinance and the Bill.
Members of the committee said ordinance that recommends appointment of teachers through the Odisha Public Service Commission oversteps the university autonomy in recruitment of faculty members. They said the proposals for abolishing the Senate, interference in the appointment of the vice-chancellors and changes in the composition of the syndicate are also efforts to squeeze the autonomy of the universities.
They further said the ordinance is in conflict with the UGC guidelines for university governance and may eventually result in withdrawal of UGC support to Odisha’s universities and de-recognition of the degrees offered by the universities in the State.
A six-member delegation of the committee also met Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan seeking Centre’s intervention in this regard.