Twenty-three senate members of the Mahatma Gandhi University have submitted a memorandum to the Governor against the proposed government move to bring an Ordinance amending the Mahatma Gandhi University Act, 1985, aimed at dissolving the syndicate.
Terming the government decision as ‘undemocratic and unprecedented', the Senate members pointed out that the move is to oust the Information Technology/Bio-Technology experts nominated to the Senate under section 17 of the Act 9/2001 by virtue of which the nominees become members in the Syndicate too.
The members recalled media reports stating that the government has also plans to oust the members nominated under the categories of eminent educationalists / scientists.
They said that IT/BT experts as well as educationists and scientists in the present syndicate were nominated by the government about seven months ago for a term of four years as per the provisions of the Act.
The memorandum pointed out that it is inappropriate to dissolve or fundamentally alter the structure and composition of these bodies for accommodating party-political interests.
The senate members said that the University Grants Commission, the Knowledge Commission and Union Ministry of Human Resources Development had strongly resisted such moves to ensure academic autonomy of the universities.
The memorandum said that it is a matter tacitly recognised the world over that the university system should be free of governmental intervention.
This has been re-asserted by the Ananthakrishnan Commission specifically in the case of universities in Kerala. They recalled that the government never interferes drastically with the bodies of the university unless there is tangible evidence of serious corruption.
The members said that the Mahatma Gandhi university syndicate has won acclaim for its democratic openness, transparency and social accountability.
Some of the achievements of the syndicate include successful implementation of the choice-based credit and semester system, completion of campus area networking, introduction of computer automation in the examination wing, centralised online allotment of undergraduate and postgraduate students in affiliated colleges, establishment of inter-university centres and extensive mobilisation of research funds.
The senate members said that the government should have adopted democratic means and process of legislation rather than seeking the profoundly unethical and illegal method of precluding them through the alleged ordinance especially when the Assembly session was progressing.
Senate members allege that it is intended to dissolve the syndicate.