New amendments in university bill to increase govt’s control in varsities
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The Mamata Banerjee government will once again amend the law governing the state universities by bringing in West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 in the ongoing Assembly session. This time, the proposed amendments will give the government more power to retain its control over the functioning of 15 state universities.
Among the three crucial amendments proposed, one that will greatly increase the government's role is related to selection of Vice-Chancellors. As per the proposed amendment, a nominee from the state government will replace the nominee from the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the three-member search committee to select the vice-chancellors. The other two members will be a nominee of the Chancellor and a nominee of the court of the university.
In the last amendment, passed in December, 2011, the state government proposed a three-member search committee to select the vice-chancellors for state varsities, saying that in the previous Left Front government, appointment of vice-chancellors used to be politically influenced. But by the latest amendment where a government nominee will replace the UGC nominee, the state government will have more control over the selection of V-Cs.
The government has also proposed to bring in change relating to the appointment of deans, who heads a faculty of the university. Earlier, the deans were elected by the teachers of the concerned faculty. Now, as per the proposed amendments, deans will be selected a three-member selection committee. The three-member selection committee will recommend two names for the posts of the deans in order of preference and the V-Cs will have to choose once from them. The three-member selection committee for deans will comprise of a nominee of the Chancellor who will the vice-chancellor of any state university other than the concerned varsity, a nominee of the state government, who will be an academician, and a nominee of the vice-chancellor of the same university.
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