Road block for Sanskrit varsity

Guv returns ordinance saying it should be debated in the Legislature

 
The Government had sent the Karnataka Samskrita-Veda University Ordinance 2009 for promulgation to Governor H R Bhardwaj on October 14 as both Houses of the Legislature were not in session.

However, the Governor’s office returned the ordinance on November 3. “The ordinance has been returned with a message that the bill be discussed on the floor of the House”, sources in the Secretariat said.

The Governor, who is also the Chancellor of all universities in the State, is also said to be unhappy with certain clauses on appointment of various boards, the sources added.
Sources said the Governor is unhappy with the section in the ordinance pertaining to mode of selection of vice-chancellors of universities.

During the last legislature session, the Bill pertaining to Sanskrit varsity came up for consideration around 11.30 pm. The opposition did not allow the bill to be passed on the grounds they need time to debate the bill.

The Government had tabled the Bill in the Legislative Council on July 28 but it had come in for flak from the Opposition which saw it as attempt by the government to propagate its “saffron agenda”.

According to the provisions of the Bill, the university will be established in Mysore and will be offering courses in vedic studies, shastras, vedanta and ancient Indian sciences among others.

Third ‘No’

This is the third time that the Governor has returned a university-related legislation back to the government. On earlier occasions, the Governor had refused to give assent to Bills replacing ordinances for establishing the Horticulture University in Bagalkot and University of Agricultural Sciences in Raichur. He had later returned the Bills after the ordinance lapsed.

According to Article 213 of the Constitution, Bills replacing ordinances need to receive assent from the Governor within six weeks from the day the Legislature reconvenes.
After the Karnataka State Universities Act 2000 was enacted, the Governor has no direct role in appointing of vice-chancellors.

Earlier, the Governor’s nominee was the chairman of the search committee for shortlisting the panel of names for vice-chancellorship. Presently, the Governor’s nominee is only a member and the government nominee is the chairperson of the search committee.

The government is planning to reintroduce the Bill in the forthcoming legislature session, scheduled to commence from December 14. In the event of the Bill being passed by the legislature, the government would in the normal course, send it to the Governor for his assent.

In case, the Governor expresses his dissatisfaction with the Bill and returns it to the government for reconsideration, the Government, in line with parliamentary practice can send it back in toto back to the Governor, with the latter having no option but to give his assent.

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