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Purta unhappy with education Bills

Autonomy

PATNA: The Patna University Retired Teachers’ Association (Purta) has expressed its deep anguish over the measures envisaged in the two Bills namely, the Bihar State University (Amendment) Bill 2011 and Patna University (Amendment) Bill 2011 passed in the assembly on Wednesday.

The Purta leaders — Bakshi Vidyanand Sinha, S W M Subuktagin and S K Ganguli — said that the sole intention of the state government appears to be abridgement of academic, financial and administrative autonomy of the universities and deprive the statutory benefits available to the retired teachers since 1980.

The main highlights of the Bills are, they pointed out, constitution of a Search Committee for selecting suitably qualified persons for the posts of vice-chancellors (VCs) of the universities of Bihar. Furthermore, the Bills envisage that no Statutes, Ordinances, Rules and Regulations (through which the university is governed) regarding service condition, retiral benefits, etc. shall the effective unless approved by the authority constituted for this purpose. Until such authority is formed, the state government shall function as the authority. It simply means that the main organs of the university will be stripped of the democratic and autonomous governance and will be replaced by the bureaucracy, they said.

The Committee as envisaged in the Bills would comprise a minimum of three or maximum of five members and its chairperson and the member-convener would be appointed by the government and will be answerable to the education minister. The convener of the committee may be in the rank of department secretary or principal secretary. This is fraught with dangerous consequences for higher education, they said, adding that due to regulatory measures, the independent functioning of the Committee is doubtful.

To ensure that only distinguished, dignified, skilled in administration and human resource management with high moral stature are selected to fill the posts of VCs, the Committee should consist of persons of impeccable credentials. Inclusion of any official of the government is against the principle of autonomy of the universities and the UGC guidelines, they added.

Times of India
, 9 December 2011

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