Raj Assy passes 5 bills by voice votes

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Jaipur, Mar 18 (UNI) The Rajasthan Assembly today passed by voice votes five bills for replacement of ordinances issued by the state government recently for setting up of five private universities in the state.

The bills--Jaipur National University, Jaipur, Bill 2008, the Singhania University Pacheri Badi, Jhunjhunu, Bill 2008, the Amity University Rajasthan, Jaipur, Bill 2008, NIMS University Rajasthan, Jaipur, Bill 2008 and Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, Bill 2008--were moved in the House by Education Minister Kali Charan Saraf.

Participating in the debate over the bills Opposition Congress members Zuber Khan, Ram Narain Meena, Hari Mohan Sharma, BD Kalla, Sanyam Lodha and CPI(M) lone member Amara Ram Dhodh criticized the BJP Government for showing haste in promulgation of ordinances for setting up of these universities without waiting for the session of the Assembly.

They also alleged that the government had not take due safeguards to ensure proper functioning of these universities in the larger interests of the students and the state.

They said the bills moved by the Minister in the House were not effective in ensuring quality education and proper academic administration as per the norms laid down by the University Grant Commmission.

Mr Lodha said the promoter groups or companies of these universities were not intended to serve the academic cause and aspirations of the people and government of the state but these groups and/or companies were setting up these universitites only to grab prime location lands at token price from the government.

He said Rajasthan Governor Shilendra Kumar Singh, who had signed the ordinances, had himself expressed the above sentiments at a public function in Jaipur recently.

Mr BD Kalla objected the procedure of selection and appointments of Chancellors in these universities saying that the same would be dictated by the promoter companies or groups. Instead, the state governor should also made ex officio Chancellor in these universities and person of very eminent stature should be appointed Vice Chancellors.

He also demanded setting up of University Regulatory Board for regulating and monitoring the functioning of these universities and nomination of MLAs into these universities board of governors and academic councils for ensuring proper functioning and implementation of UGC norms.

These members urged the government to defer passage of the bills and circulate them among masses for seeking public opinion.

Reply the debate Education Minister Mr Saraf turned down the opposition's demands and said due measures had been taken to ensure proper functioning of these universities.

Justifying the government's move for setting up these universities, Mr Saraf said the state and the country was facing shortage of universities and institutions of quality higher education and this situation could be addressed only with public private partnership.

He said Rajasthan had emerged as important educational hub in the country and several prominent groups within and out of India were interested in setting up universities in our state.

He said these five universities would work as per the UGC norms and aspirations of the House.

Mr Saraf assured that state gvernment would consider the setting up of University Regulatory Board for monitoring functioning of the universities.

There was no convention in appointing state governor as Chancellor in any of private universities in the country, he added.

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