The much discussed Maharashtra Public Universities Act, that is believed to improve the higher education sector of the universities in the state, became functional from Wednesday, 1st March 2017. The new Act governs all non-agricultural universities of Maharashtra. The Act was amended in 1994.
Sitaram Kunte, Principal Secretary of Higher Education Department said that the amended act comes to force from Wednesday, 1st March, 2017 and it will be implemented in a phased manner. The universities can now resume the work of their statutory bodies after a gap of one year. In August 2015, the Maharashtra government had directed the Universities to stop conducting elections for their statutory bodies such as the Grievance Committee, Senate and Management Council etc.
With the Act revised, varsities will supposedly see a major overhaul in their working process of the administration. MA Khan, Registrar, Mumbai University said that they have received the gazette. The new Act will definitely change things around and it will also improve the working of the administration. But the varsities have to wait for another week as the government is yet to make other related announcements.
The statutes, that specify the rules regarding the appointment of administrative, governing bodies and representatives, will be released within a week. The statutes are in the final phase of approval.
Education Minister of Maharashtra, Vinod Tawde said that with a focus on setting the administrative processes in motion, Maharashtra government will first release the statutes so that new positions are filled up and appointments can be made.
The government has convened a meeting on 3rd March with vice-chancellors of all non-agricultural universities Maharashtra. The government seeks to help universities implement the Act.
Meanwhile, several MU teachers complained that Sanjay Deshmukh, VC of Mumbai University has “hurriedly changed” the syllabi of some courses just before the Act came into force. They termed the move on the part of the VC as unconstitutional.