After more than two decades, the Maharashtra Public Universities Act has been amended by the Legislative Assembly and Council on Thursday, December 8. The act was last amended in 1994 and has been revised to bring changes in the administrative processes.
In March 2016 a committee comprising of various political parties was formed to prepare a final draft after studying the inputs from various stakeholders and introduce some major changes in the system.
Following changes will be brought after the amendment of Maharashtra Public Universities Act:
- A Board of Governors will be introduced to the Universities similar to that of the Indian Institutes of Technology that will advise Vice-Chancellors on the improvements that must be brought in the system. It will comprise five members including industrialist, a social leader, a scientist, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert and an educationist.
- Student elections will be re-introduced on campuses after a gap of 22 years. This has been done to help increase student representation among the statutory authorities of the universities.
- A university-level Students’ Council will be formed and each college will also have its own Students’ Council to enhance student welfare activities, co-ordinate extra-curricular activities among different student’s associations to enhance the corporate life.
- The Senate will comprise of at least 71 members and half of them will be elected representatives. Whereas, until now as few as one-third of the total 105 members were elected candidates.
- There has been no elemental change in the composition of statutory bodies.
Students have highly appreciated the decision to form student councils at both college and university levels. Bringing back the elections was also welcomed as it will give students a platform to put up their views in front of the college administration, said Santosh Gangurde, Vice-President of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena.
Teachers and management staff are not happy with the changes and said that their representation among the administrative bodies has been reduced. The teachers’ unions and former senate members have also expressed their disappointment on these developments.
Former senate member, Sanjay Vairal said that these changes will give more power to the Vice-Chancellor as he will have the authority to nominate members and this is a flaw in democracy.