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UP Private Universities Bill Faces Opposition from MLAs, Passes Anyway

Published: | July 26, 2019
UP Government Private Universities Bill Introduced

To bring transparency and increase hold and assessment of private universities in UP, the Yogi government passes the bill in State Assembly amidst heated protests from the opposition.

The much-criticised and discussed Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Bill, 2019, and also the Uttar Pradesh State University Amendment Bill, 2019, which sought to change the name of Allahabad State University to Professor Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiya) University, passed by voice vote in the Uttar Pradesh State Assembly on 25th July, Thursday.

The opposition lodged protests against the ‘Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Bill 2019’ where the government has said that they will not ally any kind of Anti-National activities inside the campus and will take action for the same.

SP legislator Sanjay Garg protested against the Uttar Pradesh State University Amendment Bill 2019. He raised the question of changing the name of a state university after a person who was associated with a particular ideology. However, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of UP State Govt Suresh Khanna said that Rajendra Singh was an educationist and he had contributed in different fields. His ideology should not come in the path of renaming a university.

To regulate the operations of 27 private universities in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath led government has tabled a draft bill on Tuesday 23rd July. The newly introduced Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Bill 2019 intends to bring all the private universities in UP under the outlines of an umbrella act that caters for an undertaking by the private universities against promoting or involvement of any anti-national activities on their campus.

The conditions laid for the private universities have 18 terms mentioned in the bill, one of them suggests the university should keep an aye and not permit anyone in the campuses to get involved in any anti-national activities inside the university with the entity's name.

The Yogi Adityanath led government of Uttar Pradesh had developed cold feet on making an ordinance to enforce the new law after getting the cabinet’s nod on 18th June 2019.

The bill says if any anti-national activities are found inside the university campus, it shall be considered a major law violation and the government will take action under any of the laws in force to counter such activities and it will also take action against the university.

The bill suggests that the university shall endeavour to provide to students and teachers the necessary environment and facilities for the promotion of national integration, social equity, patriotism, secularism and inculcation of global understanding and ethics. Other objectives prescribed in the bill include innovation in education, leading to the restructuring of courses, new means of teaching, training and learning, including blended learning, online learning, studies in various restraints and interdisciplinary studies.

The Samajwadi Party MLAs have said that the Private Universities Bill has high chances to be misused to curb the independence of the private universities by maligning a university’s image.

Mr Ramanujan Singh, the MLA from Samajwadi Party said that the term regarding ‘anti-national’ activities is highly guided intentionally against a particular university. He expressed the urgency showed to pass the bill on Thursday was unnecessary.

In the reply, a Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Khanna said the focus of the Bill is to ensure quality education while supporting the autonomy of the private institutions. He also tried to assure that there is no wrong intention of the government to pass the bill.

Once the legislation comes in place, the private universities can award honorary degrees to people in public life only with the approval of the state government.

Also Read: AICTE directs the Technical Colleges to get a permanent campus within 2 years or face consequences

The land-related guidelines in the bill say that the institute should have a minimum 20 acres land in urban areas and 50 acres in rural areas and prescribes to create a permanent endowment fund with a minimum of Rs 5 crore of the amount. The guidelines also suggest that the sponsoring body of the university cannot lease or sell the land once allocated to the university. The land which belongs to the university cannot be mortgaged to any person except financial institutions or banks established under the law for respective fields.

Also Read: The government of Rajasthan to imply guidelines for setting up technical institutes in the state

While stating the reasons and objects for bringing the bill, the deputy chief minister Mr Dinesh Sharma has said that currently, the private universities are set up as state acts respectively to the state they are getting build. Since there is no monitoring facility and the universities contain different provisions, it becomes hard for the state to keep an eye for the quality of education in the private universities. Tough there are many difficulties involved for the state to collect data, UP has managed to bring a bill which will eventually make the governance on the private universities easier.

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With inputs from Hindustantimes & Indian Express

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