It is I who saved Bangalore University: Bhardwaj
A day after the Opposition in the Legislative Council cast allegations against the Governor’s office over Vice-Chancellors (VCs) posts being “sold”, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj chose to reply to the verbal attack.
Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the 48th annual convocation of Bangalore University (BU) here on Thursday, Mr. Bhardwaj said: “First of all, the head of the State is never discussed in the House; Ministers should know this. Don’t attack me in the House.”
Mr. Bhardwaj went on to blame the State government for politicising universities. “Vested interests are destroying all the universities in the State. What was happening in Bangalore University? It is I who saved it,” he said.
He also questioned why the Congress government had recalled the nominees to the Syndicate of the State-run varsities of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government. Referring to the appointment of Vice-Chancellors, he said: “Is there any search committee (for the appointment of VCs) being allowed to work without interference?”
KSU Act amendment
Asked about the status of the Karnataka State Universities (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013, which is pending clearance from the Raj Bhavan, Mr. Bhardwaj, without directly saying that he has not passed it, said, “I will not allow them (the government) to take over the powers of the Chancellor and the autonomy of the university. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the funding body and the UGC says that the Chancellor chooses the VC, not the government. If they (the government) want this changed, let them approach the Union government.”
The amendment Bill proposes to give more teeth to the State government (the Higher Education Minister or Pro-Chancellor, specifically) in matters where so far only the Chancellor has a say.
On the one-year extension of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Vice-Chancellor H. Maheshappa’s tenure which has drawn flak, the Governor once again pinned the blame on the delay by the State government in appointing its nominee — Director of the Indian Institute of Science P. Balaram.
“How can the VC be chosen without the government nominee being present at the search committee meeting? I used my powers (given in the KSU Act) to extend the VC’s term. The government is free to re-constitute another search committee,” he said.