Council nod for 3 private varsities

40 pc of the seats in the universities will be filled by govt: Minister

Council nod for 3 private varsities

The Legislative Council on Tuesday gave its nod for setting up three more private universities in the State, CMR University, New Baldwin University and Presidency University.

While the Council passed the three Bills providing for the establishment of new varsities, the same are yet to be approved by the Legislative Assembly. Piloting the Bills, Higher Education minister C T Ravi said  40 per cent of the seats for various courses to be offered by these universities will be filled by the government.

“When our country has opened itself for globalisation, there is no meaning in keeping ourselves away from competition. Setting up of private universities will go a long way in imparting quality education. At the same time, we have ensured that private institutions don’t function according to whims and fancies,” he said.

 Ravi said that to avoid giving room for turning education into business, private varsities have not been allowed to offer courses through distance mode and also conduct job-oriented courses. These universities would mainly offer courses in commerce, management, life sciences and computer science among others.

 MLCs express concern

As many as 19 members, both from the ruling and the Opposition benches, expressed concern over the increasing number of private universities in the State.

Leader of the Opposition S R Patil said the management which has planned to open New Baldwin University, has least experience in the field of higher education. “The Baldwin group mainly runs schools and has only one degree college under its belt,” he said.

 BJP members Mohan A Limbikai, C H Vijaya Shankar and Doddarangegowda said private universities should not provide platform for private parties to conduct their business in the name of higher education.

Congress member Allamaprabhu Patil, at this stage, demanded the Higher Education minister to withdraw the Bills as there was opposition from the ruling party members as well.

JD(S) member Basavaraj Horatti wondered why the Higher Education minister was so keen on obtaining nod for so many private universities.

However, Ravi said there was no scope for private universities to go out of government control when it comes to functioning. “Any private university has to prove its efficiency in the first five years of its establishment, in terms of teaching, infrastructure facilities and other criteria as per the AICTE and other norms.

Till that time, they won’t be allowed to affiliate other colleges. They have to function with only one college, which they initially declare as the main campus,” he said.

Ravi said there are 2,049 universities in the USA , in the ratio of one university for every 1,53,000 people. “If we go by the US norm, Karnataka requires 63 universities. The government has allowed only 16 private universities to come up,” he said.

Sources in the government said that unlike in India, colleges are not affiliated to universities in the US. Almost every college turns into a university. In Karnataka there are 24 state sponsored universities, 14 deemed to be universities and one Central university besides 16 private varsities.

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