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Now, Congress stalls private universities bill

The alliance partners — Congress and Nationalist Congress Party — are at loggerheads again. HT reports.

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2011 01:05 IST
HT Correspondent

The alliance partners — Congress and Nationalist Congress Party — are at loggerheads again.

A month after approving the private universities bill, which will facilitate setting up of self-financed private universities in the state, Congress has now demanded an amendment to grant caste-based admission reservations in such institutions.

The bill, which was tabled by the NCP leader and minister of higher and technical education Rajesh Tope, was approved in the recently-concluded monsoon session. The Congress members present in the both houses had not opposed the bill, though three senior ministers had disapproved the draft bill for not having any caste-based reservation.

But a month later, state Congress president Manikrao Thakre said that he has asked CM Prithviraj Chavan to put on hold the new act. “The CM has agreed to not send the bill to the governor for his approval. The bill hasn’t become an act yet.”

Thakre said that the bill was not discussed thoroughly. “The legislation evoked strong reaction from people. So we need to debate it further to incorporate their demands.” Other than the opposition leaders, three Congress ministers Nitin Raut, Naseem Khan and Varsha Gaikwad had demanded reservation for the backward class and minorities.

The bill paves way for setting up of private universities in the field of engineering, technology, management, business and commerce faculties. Autonomous self-financed universities will have minimum regulatory interference in their formation and functioning.