Governor breaks silence over amendment to universities Bill

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, who is also the chancellor of universities in the State, has broken his silence about the apparent dilution of powers of the Chancellor in the Karnataka State Universities (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013. The State government cannot use the legislation against the head of State, he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 15th convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) here on Monday.

The government had made amendments to the Karnataka State Universities (KSU) Act, 2000, earlier this year, allowing the government to have a say in matters pertaining to State universities that were so far confined to the Chancellor.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Bhardwaj made it clear that the Chancellor is still supreme. “Nobody can curtail my power. If anything is found to be inconsistent with the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, I can refer it to the President,” he said.

VC appointment

Mr. Bhardwaj said with the lack of common guidelines for the appointment of Vice-Chancellors and members of the academic council and syndicate of varsities, Governors of different States had sought for fresh guidelines from the UGC.

He cited the example of Bangalore University. “Bangalore University was systematically being destroyed. I had to fight every inch to find the best Vice-Chancellor. I will not allow the communalisation of our universities; I will not give in to anything wrong.”

Private universities

Commenting on the private university Bills, the Chancellor said he had given assent to about 10 of the 13 Bills that were passed in the legislature recently.

Monitoring

Saying that he cannot stop the legislature from passing new proposals, he, however, said he can see to it that the regulations are followed.

Under way

The guidelines are now being discussed with the Central government and requests have been placed with the UGC too, he added.

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