Opp up in arms over Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill 2020 in House

Bhubaneswar: Opposition members in the State Assembly targeted the State government after the later tabled the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the House for discussion. BJP members alleged the State government is trying to keep all the universities under its control while Congress legislators termed the bill as a ‘Black Bill’.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik raised questions about the process for appointments of faculty and non-teaching staff at the public state universities and stated the government wants to deny autonomy to the universities.

Senior Congress Legislator Narasingha Mishra said the State government is trying to pass the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill 2020 hastily like a bulldozer. He asked why the government is in hurry to pass the bill during the pandemic.

Mishra sensed foul play behind the government’s move to table the bill for discussion. He demanded a division while presenting the bill in the House.

Another Senior Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati tore the copies of the bill in the House and termed it as a ‘Black Bill’. He demanded the bill should be sent to the House Selection Committee for approval.

Refuting the charges, Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo said the bill is not anyone going to damage the autonomy of universities as they will function as per the University Act.

The State government has provided Rs 1,034 crore grants to the universities, he informed the House.

A total of seven bills were presented in the House for discussions.

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