STATING THAT government’s conscience was clear which is reflected in CID and magisterial probe into the death of Professor H S Sabharval during the violence in the students’ council elections, Higher Education Minister Tukojirao Puar today assured all cooperation to the investigating agencies.
In an informal chat with the reporters here after chairing a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Daly College in the capacity of its president, Puar said the government was anguished over the incident.
He countered the Congress allegations targeting Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and said the government would lend all cooperation to the judiciary in punishing the guilty.
The clear conscience of the government is reflected in the prompt initiation of a CID enquiry, which is being followed separately by a magisterial enquiry so as to allay all suspicion and clear all doubts, he said.
The BJP and ABVP have been demanding holding the elections through direct method but could not do so as the findings of the Lingey Committee were pending for the consideration in the Supreme Court (SC) making the matter sub-judice and beyond the purview of the State government.
As the present election scenario has come under criticism followed by Professor Sabharwal’s death in Ujjain, it would be in the best interest of all that the matter gets resolved in the SC as soon as possible.
Regarding the State Universities Act 1973, he said it has been drafted by the State legislature and it alone is the proper forum for making any amendments to it. He was replying to a question in the context of the recommendations made in this regard in the recently held State Coordination Committee meeting and other topics.
Puar said he was against any move to end the involvement of State government in the universities as not only did it go against the constitutional checks put in by involving various organisations in the running of all government machinery but also because the State government provided a lot of funding for various purposes though on the outset the universities remain autonomous bodies.
The standing committee of the universities has drafted a certain resolution, which proposes reducing power of different university authorities and vesting them in the Vice Chancellor in the name of expedience and this has been passed by the Coordination Committee.
However, introduction of any changes in the form of reduction or increase in powers can be made only through enactment of amendment in the Universities Act, which can be done only when it receives approval of the Legislative Assembly.
The financial aspect of an organisation being very important requires careful handling for which Finance Officers are being appointed in the universities to oversee smooth flow of transactions and stem financial irregularities.
Similarly, the post of exam controller holds much significance as the drafting of examination papers, setting dates, invigilation and marking forms one of the most important functions of any educational institute and they have therefore, been appointed to oversee this critical job.
As far as the Registrar is concerned he is the backbone of the universities and as any department cannot function without secretaries/bureaucrats, similarly the university cannot function without a Registrar or with a Registrar having limited power that too in name. Any attempt to cut the role of these pillars of any university would be detrimental for the university itself as their involvement stamped with the approval of the legislature during the regime of Digvijay Singh has given good results.
The minutes of the Coordination Committee meeting have recently been received by the department of Higher Education and further study would be required to find out the intent based on the wording. The minutes passed in the meeting would be presented to the Chief Minister with remarks from the department for further action.
Adopting a wink-wink-nod-nod approach towards the reinstatement of former Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalya (DAVV) Registrar Dr Parikshit Singh, he said whatever has been directed by the High Court would be honoured by the government.
Denying the posting to have reverberations on the set up of the university retrieving from the blows delivered to its prestige in the fight between then Vice Chancellor CS Chaddha and Singh, he said there was no dispute in the university.
He accepted that Singh had come to Bhopal and met him yesterday but said the documents would have to be presented in the Directorate of Higher Education through the proper channels and when the file would appear before him after running its due course he would see what role the State government would have in the light of the High Court ruling.