Mysore University Teachers’ Association has said that the Karnataka State Universities (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013, passed in the Legislative Council recently, is likely to affect a large number of teaching staff in various universities in the State.

Muzaffar Assadi, president of the Association, and Thimmarayappa, general secretary, said in a press release here on Thursday that the Bill was passed in the council without any discussion. It would empower the State government and take away the autonomy of the universities, they pointed out.

“The Minister for Higher Education, who is also the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, will have powers in matters relating to the appointment of vice-chancellors, and can order inquiries pertaining to erring officers, including vice-chancellors. The Minister will also have a say in the appointment of members to the Syndicates. This will go against the functional autonomy of the universities and the spirit of the University Grants Commission (UGC),” they said.

The UGC had stipulated that the Governor would be the final authority in the appointment of vice-chancellors. The National Higher Education Mission recommended academic, financial and administrative autonomy to universities. If the Education Minister appointed MLAs and MLCs in key posts, it could affect their functioning. “As it is, there are a number of non-academic and persons with political affiliations in Syndicates. Such a situation which could further vitiate the atmosphere in the universities,” they said. The appointment of KAS, IAS and IFS officers as Registrars in place of professors, would lead to ‘bureaucratisation’, they added.

The association would also oppose creation of Universities Establishment Board to effect inter-university transfer of employees. The members expressed concern over the proposal to close down departments in the event of number of students falling below 10 for two consecutive years.

The Association disagreed with the government’s plan to enhance retirement age of vice-chancellors from 67 to 70 and also their term of office from four to five years.

  • ‘It was passed in the Legislative Council without discussion’

  • ‘Giving powers to the Minister will take away the autonomy of universities’