Govt withdraws Syndicate members named during Cong rule

Govt withdraws Syndicate members named during Cong rule

Devegowda paid no heed to Siddaramaiah’s letter, and went on to say that it was common for a new government to change nominated members.

Taking former chief minister Siddaramaiah head on, the H D Kumaraswamy government has withdrawn members to the Syndicate and other decision-making bodies in 17 universities who were nominated by the previous Congress government.

Siddaramaiah had explicitly asked Kumaraswamy not to remove Syndicate members nominated during the previous government’s regime. However, a notification dated July 17 withdrawing the state government’s nominees has been issued by the Higher Education department. The notification also cites a High Court of Karnataka order for the withdrawals. 

Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda is Siddaramaiah’s bete noire, having defeated the former chief minister in the Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district in the Assembly elections.

The Syndicate is the highest decision-making body at a university. The state government can nominate up to six “eminent educationists” to the Syndicate. In recent years, however, Syndicate nominations have gained notoriety for being political in nature.

Thirteen universities that come under the Karnataka State Universities Act have had their state government nominees withdrawn from their Syndicate. Executive/Governing Council members at universities that have their own Act - Kannada University, Karnataka State Open University and Visvesvaraya Technological University - have been withdrawn as well. Syndicate members at the Karnataka Folklore University, which has its own Act, have also been withdrawn.

“Our previous government has nominated academic experts from all categories as Syndicate/Executive Council members. You are requested not to change them and let them continue,” Siddaramaiah, also the coalition coordination and monitoring committee chairperson, wrote to Kumaraswamy in a letter dated July 7.

Devegowda paid no heed to Siddaramaiah’s letter, and went on to say that it was common for a new government to change nominated members.

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