MLAs deplore corruption, malpractice in recruitment of VCs, staff in universities

2,300 posts vacant in State-run universities; Bill to set up 8 new universities passed

September 21, 2022 08:46 pm | Updated 08:46 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of Minister for Higher Education C.N. Ashwath Narayan

A file photo of Minister for Higher Education C.N. Ashwath Narayan

Members of the Legislative Assembly, cutting across party lines, on Wednesday deplored corruption and malpractices in the recruitment of Vice-Chancellors and teaching and non-teaching faculty members in universities run by the State government.

Speaking on the Karnataka State Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which proposed to set up eight new State universities in district headquarters, senior member Krishna Byre Gowda (Congress) mentioned irregularities and scams in the recruitment of Vice-Chancellors and faculty members and in promotions.

He said recruitments had been made without forming selection committees. Ineligible candidates and unqualified candidates who had not passed NET and SET, without Ph.D. and research experience had been recruited. Many faculty members had been promoted as professors violating UGC norms, the State University Act, and government rules and regulations, he said.

Mr. Gowda said widespread and rampant corruption caused deterioration of the standards of higher education in universities. The CAG report of 2018 and the Public Accounts Committee report had flagged malpractices in State-run universities, he pointed out.

Mr. Gowda said many MLAs recommend names for the posts of Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellors provide wrong reports to the Governor who is the Chancellor of universities, and legalise all illegal recruitments and activities.

Bribe for VC appointments

Eshwar Khnadre (Congress) said ₹5 crore to ₹20 crore was being paid for the posts of Vice-Chancellor. There were no basic amenities and facilities for students in universities and PG centers. Corruption and malpractices in the recruitment were rampant, he said.

M.B. Patil, P.T. Parameshwar Naik (both Congress), and A.T. Ramaswamy and G.T. Deve Gowda (both JD-S) said a large number of teaching posts were vacant in 26 universities and subject-wise guest lecturers had been appointed.

Mr. Ramaswamy said private deemed universities receive donations, and allow students to copy in the examination to secure more marks. The students who study in State universities scure less marks. The quality of education had suffered owing to poor faculty in universities, Mr. Ramaswamy said.

Veeranna Charantimath (BJP) said the Rani Chennamma University, Belagavi, had neither buildings nor faculty members to provide quality education.

Priyank Kharge (Congress) termed it as an "appeasement Bill" and the government was ill-equipped to provide new education policy programmes.

Aravind Bellad (BJP) explained several frauds in the recruitment process in universities. Shivananda Patil (Congress) demanded withdrawal of the Bill.

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who has spent 20 years in the ABVP, said the quality of education in State universities was pathetic. Many students of the State go for higher education to Canada and other countries.

Members of all parties said ₹14 crore per year was inadequate to set up the new university. Nearly ₹150 crore was needed to set up a new university.

Minister for Higher Education C.N. Ashwath Narayan said the Bill proposed to set up Bidar University, Haveri University, Kodagu University, Chamarajanagar University, Hassan University, Koppal University, Mandya University, and Bagalkot University in respective district headquarters.

Dr. Narayan said the department would come out with a new university Act to address all challenges and ensure transparency in the recruitment and construction works in universities. He said 2,300 posts were vacant in existing universities.

The Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly by a voice vote.

Probe sought into Mangalore University affairs

Deputy Leader of the Opposition U.T. Khader and D. Vedavyas Kamath (BJP) on Wednesday demanded a probe into irregularities in financial aspects and recruitments in Mangalore University.

Mr. Khader said Mangalore University was downgraded from 'A' grade to 'B' grade owing to poor quality of education and teaching faculty. He said Syndicate members of the university conduct meetings in five star hotels in Bengaluru. Rampant irregularities in recruitment and outsourcing of staff were other reasons for the pathetic situation of the university, he said.

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