Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) president and Rajya Sabha member Ramvilas Paswan on Wednesday met Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, seeking reservation for the weaker sections in society in the recently passed private universities Bill.

Mr. Sankaranarayanan assured Mr. Paswan that he would discuss his concerns with the Chief Minister.

Private investment

With a view to attracting private investment in higher education, the Maharashtra Self-Financed Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Bill was passed by both Houses of the State legislature during the monsoon session.

A memorandum submitted by a 14-member delegation of the party states, “The Bill does not provide constitutional safeguards to the weaker sections guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The present scenario of higher education is not affordable to poor students and weaker sections, including SC, ST, VJNT and OBC.” It demanded a 25 per cent priority share for institutions formed by the Backward Class communities.

In addition, the “decision-making authorities of self-financed universities, including their governing bodies should have representation from SC, ST, VJNT and OBC,” the memorandum says.

Mr. Paswan called for exercising government control over the functioning and regulation of private universities, bringing them under the University Grants Commission and the Human Resource Development Ministry.