ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bull-dozing the Universities

Bull-dozing the Universities THERE has been widespread public consternation over the proposed Bill of the Government of Maharashtra to consolidate and amend the law relating to the non-agricultural universities in the state. The teachers and educationists as well as informed members of the general public in Maharashtra have voiced their dismay and resentment at the Bill. The proposed Bill contemplates a single Act for all the universities, thus treating the old and the new, the large and the small, the rural and the urban, and the urban and the metropoilitan backgrounds and backdrops of the universities alike though even a layman would appreciate that the history, problems, needs and objectives of each would tend to be different. The Bill also pares heavily the elective component in the membership of different bodies of the universities after reducing the size of the membership itself. Power is taken away from these bodies after their emasculation and is lodged hierarchically first with the Vice-Chancellors, who themselves in essence are made to be directed and controlled by the Chancellor. Further, the state government itself becomes the arbiter of the first statutes of the universities. The accounts of the latter are also to be placed before the legislature. In effect the universities are nationalised, homogenised and depart mentalised. Higher education becomes a state undertaking and, one supposes, is 'taken under*.

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