Bill proposes to clean up varsity administration

17 universities in state will come under this law

Bill proposes to clean up varsity administration

The state government is bringing in sweeping changes to the administration of universities. It aims to have a greater say in selecting vice-chancellors, and will empower common boards to handle recruitment and civil engineering work.

Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy piloted the Karnataka State Universities Bill of 2017 in the Assembly on Wednesday.

It seeks to amend the Act of 2000. As many as 17 state universities will be governed under this comprehensive law.

The objective is to bring transparency to all decisions regarding recruitments and administration. The proposed law is modelled on the Central Universities Act of 2009, according to Rayareddy.

The bill provides for two government nominees on the search-and-selection committees to appoint vice chancellors. At present it has one. In all, nominees go up from four to five. A nominee of the government will be the chairman of the committee. It is now headed by a nominee of the chancellor.
The committee will comprise eminent academics not below the rank of sitting or former vice chancellors, or directors of institutes of national importance. The vice-chancellors will have a four-year tenure, and retire at 67 years.

Under the amended Act, the chancellor has to exercise all powers in consultation with the state government.

The proposed law will allow the government to have a common recruitment board for both teaching and non-teaching streams.

This also means assistant professors will be selected through a common merit pool. Aspirants to teaching posts will have to appear for verbal and practical tests.

A video recording of their teaching will be hosted on a website for evaluation by subject experts.
The government plans to set up a common board to build infrastructure at the universities. “Any work worth more than Rs 1 crore has to get the approval of the state government. If it is above Rs 10 crore, the Cabinet’s approval is mandatory,” Rayareddy said, interacting with DH.

When the bill becomes law, the senate, syndicate and executive council will be called executive council and academic council. The minimum qualification to be nominated as a syndicate member is post-graduation.

The controller of examination will replace the existing registrar (evaluation). In the absence of a vice-chancellor, a counterpart from another university will stand in.

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