The Karnataka State Innovative Universities Bill, 2011 and the Union Government's Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010 were widely criticised at an educational meet organised by the All-India Save Education Committee here on Monday.

“We should not allow foreign universities to open their branches here, nor should we allow new universities to be created by foreigners. All attempts to commercialise education should be resisted,” said writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, in a message sent for the meet.

“What the governments of today plan is against the spirit of our Constitution and even a criminal conspiracy against the poor and the downtrodden,” he claimed.

Speaking at the meet, M.V. Nadkarni, former Vice-Chancellor of Gulbarga University, said that higher education was poor because primary and secondary education was also poor.

‘Several deficiencies'

He also said that there was a deficiency in funding, infrastructure, library and laboratory facilities in our universities. On the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, he said, “The Bill is a consequence of demand from the elite. It is like shopping for higher education.”

The innovative universities Bill too came in for criticism from both K. Uma, State secretary of the education committee and B. Ravi, State secretary of the All-India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO).

“How can they choose only 14 universities to make them centres of excellence? It is creating a divide,” said Ms. Uma.

Mr. Ravi said that the procedure of choosing the ‘president' under the Bill was only going to lead to politicisation of the institutions rather than making them autonomous.

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