The Assembly unanimously passed the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University Bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance issued earlier providing for the establishment of the university, on Tuesday.

The House adopted several amendments to the original legislation, including one to leave all appointments of non-teaching staff of the university to the Public Service Commission. The House considered more than 1,000 amendments to the Bill during the discussions that went on till 9 p.m. A provision was incorporated to set up chairs in the name of eminent persons in addition to those specifically provided for in the legislation.

Winding up discussions on the Bill, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that finances would not be a hindrance to the functioning of the new university. He said that a decision on classical status to Malayalam was expected to be taken soon.

Major objective

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb, who piloted the Bill, said that equipping the language to enable teaching of science and technical subjects in Malayalam would be a major objective of the new university.

He said that the proposed faculty advisory committees would not take away the decision-making powers of the academic council or faculty as their recommendations would be of advisory nature only.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that steps should be taken urgently to get UGC recognition for the university. Otherwise, the university would face financial stringency. Mr. Balakrishnan said that the new speciality courses proposed by the university would be beneficial only if they were designed with employability in view. Mr. Balakrishnan suggested that the university develop a computer-friendly script for Malayalam. It should also have a school for translation.

He called for steps to make Malayalam the official language for court proceedings. The amendment to leave appointments of non-teaching staff to PSC would not work in the absence of will to carry it out.

Though similar decisions had been taken in the case of other universities, appointments through PSC were yet to commence.