Bhubaneswar: After four days of discuss and uproar by Opposition parties, the contentious Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in the State Legislative Assembly here today.
The bill was introduced in the House on September 29. Today, after discussion and uproar by Opposition parties, the bill was passed by voice vote.
As per the amendment in Odisha Universities Act 1989, Syndicate instead of the Senate will function as the highest authority in universities. The Constitution of Syndicate has been restructured. There will be an adequate representation of Chancellor as well as the State Government, including the reconstruction of the committee for the selection of Vice-Chancellors of the universities by including a nominee of State Government (Academician) in place of the member selected by Syndicate.
Under the new amendment, the tenure of Vice-Chancellors will be extended from three years to four years with the upper age limit of 67 from earlier 65 years. There will be no re-appointment of vice-chancellor of the same university for the second time.
The recruitment of the teachers in universities will be done by the Odisha Public Service Commission and non-teaching staff will be recruited through State Selection Board.
The annual audit report of the universities will be available on the university website for the last three years.
Opposing the amendments in the Bill, Congress Legislative Party leader Narasingha Mishra termed the bill as ‘draconian’ and the day as ‘Black Day.
On the other hand, BJP members boycotted the discussion on the bill in the House today.
The opposition parties were protesting the bill alleging that the state Government is trying to destroy the autonomy of higher educational institutions in the state.
In response , Minister Arun Sahi said the autonomy of universities will not be tampered. In states like Gujarat, Bihar, Punjab, Andra Pradesh and West Bengal, the Government interferes in VC selection process. But in Odisha, the selection process is impartial and the Governor apponits the VC.