The state government on Wednesday withdrew its earlier bill on self-financed private universities to include 50% caste-based reservation. The bill was passed in the assembly in August 2011, but the governor had refused to sign it into law in the absence of the reservation clause. The amended bill is expected to be approved in the ongoing or monsoon session.
State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said his party would not mind if corporate houses don’t set up their universities in the state due to the reservation. “Private universities will certainly make profits and hence they must share their booty for providing education to the deprived class. We asked for amendment because we knew they would run courses that would provide them trained employees. This would have led to socio-economic imbalance,” he said.
Ironically, most of the unaided private educational institutions in the state — which are often accused of profiteering by charging exorbitant fees — are run by Congress and NCP leaders.
Many corporates had approached the government to introduce world-class facilities and international syllabi to students in the state, but they are now not willing to accept reservation since it would affect returns on their investment. Half of their seats would have to be made available for reserved categories at subsidised fees.
"The reservation would be as per the existing norms prevailing in the state. It includes 13% to SC, 7% ST, 19% OBC and 11% to VJNT," said a minister. He said that the reservation would not be applicable to appointment of teachers, as was demanded by some politicians.
The government also has decided to relax some of the norms, reducing the amount of land required, and expanding the definition of eligible promoters.