GOVERNOR TV Rajeswar, while approving the controversial Mohammad Ali Jauhar University Bill, has made it clear that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in connection with the Chhattisgarh private Universities Bill should be properly implemented.
The Jauhar varsity is to be set up in Rampur in the private sector.
In a landmark judgement last year, the apex court had established the authority of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The Chhattisgarh Bill had sidetracked the UGC’s role in private universities. The Jauhar University Bill had also negated the role of the UGC, as there was no specific mention of the powers of the commission in it. The Chattisgarh Bill was declared null and void on this ground.
The bench of the then Chief Justice RC Lahoti and Justices GP Mathur and PK Balasubramanyan said the “right to establish a university” did not mean that an educational institution, or a private person, or a body, having no proper facilities could be recognised as a university.
The court said every State Legislature passing a law enabling the establishment of private universities should insist that “only an institution with all the infrastructural facilities, where teaching and research on a wide range of subjects, and of a particular level, are actually done, acquires the status of a university”.
Avoiding mention of the UGC, the Jauhar Bill simply stated that “ the university would ensure that degrees, diplomas and other educational certificates should not be lower in grade as fixed by various commissions”. In fact, the UGC, in order to improve education standards, has established the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, which reviews the institution’s standard before accrediting it.
Significantly, two private university bills — Amity University and Jauhar University — passed last year by the State assembly, vastly differed in nature. As compared to the Amity Bill, there was no ban in the Jauhar Bill on receiving government funds. It is learnt that the Governor has now put some riders on the issue.
The Jauhar Trust has been given a free hand to run the university, as the government, in case of bungling, will not be able to take any action against the university without approval by “two-thirds” majority of both Houses of the State Legislature
While Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan had been propagating that the Jauhar University Bill was virtually a carbon copy of the Amity University Bill, a look at both the Bills presented an almost different picture. The government had given a free hand to the Jauhar trust in the appointment of the Chancellor and even the trust chairman had been allowed to function as chancellor. With the UGC now coming into the picture, the trust will not be able to act unilaterally.