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Varsity reforms: Governor?s will may prevail

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 14:25 IST

DESPITE NEGATIVE opinion expressed by the Finance and Law Department, the State Government can do precious little about administrative reforms in universities as proposed by the Raj Bhavan, except for requesting the Governor/chancellor to review them.

Also the higher education department’s decision to seek opinion on the matter from these two departments – after approval of the reforms from Raj Bhavan is not consistent with provisions of the MP Universities Act, 1973, sources say.

The MP Universities Act 1973 gives absolute powers to the Chancellor to bring about changes in the statutes required for the reforms. The decision of the Chancellor could be placed before the UCC for ratification and normally the decision is not questioned.

Sources said that since the Chancellor, in his capacity as chairman of Universities’ Coordination Committee has approved the new statutes and amendments in some existing ones, the principal secretary of the higher education department - as member secretary of the UCC - should have come out with the relevant notification in the matter without any delay. Also the government had no business going in for fresh opinion.

Also since the Governor had taken the decision after approval of the changes by the UCC standing committee and after seeking legal opinion, there was no case for fresh opinion.

It may be recalled that the issue of implementation of administrative reforms in seven universities of the State has got embroiled in controversy after the higher education department, on the eve September 5 – the date that Raj Bhavan had fixed for formal execution of the reforms – decided to stall the reform process by seeking opinion from the two departments.

The Raj Bhavan, following the approval of the new and amended statutes by Chancellor and Governor Balram Jakhar, had come out with directive for implementation of the reforms on September 1.

However the Higher Education Department has not yet come out with the formal order for the same and has instead gone in for seeking opinion from the two departments. Since the opinion is negative from the standpoint of Raj Bhavan, the government plans to request the Chancellor to review the reform provisions or put them before the full committee of the UCC for review. However, it would be entirely the discretion of the Governor to consider the request and government can hardly do much about it.