Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan once again on Saturday requested the Centre to repeal the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill 2020, which was passed in the state Assembly during the Monsoon Session recently. In a letter, Pradhan sought the intervention of Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to take necessary action in this regard.
The minister said the Bill contradicts the National Education Policy and seeks to strip away the autonomy of higher educational institutions in Odisha by bureaucratising critical aspects of the functioning of universities.
"Keeping in mind the welfare of students, scholars, faculty and staff, the autonomy of higher educational institutions and the overall well-being of the entire higher education ecosystem in Odisha and factoring in the blatant inconsistencies of the Odisha University Amendment Bill, 2020 with the Constitution of India, I seek your urgent personal intervention in taking necessary action to repeal the Odisha University Amendment Bill, 2020," Pradhan wrote in the letter.
He said a strong and unanimous view has emerged that the Bill should not have been promulgated without prior instructions of the President of India as per Article 213 of the Constitution.
"Even if the Bill is passed by the House, it has to be reserved for consideration and assent of the President of India under Article 254(2) of the Constitution," he added.
Earlier, Pradhan had written a letter to the Union Education Minister opposing the Odisha University Amendment Bill, 2020.
Notably, the Bill seeks to reconstitute a search committee which selects the vice-chancellor of a university by including in it a nominee of the state government in place of the member selected by the syndicate.
It also decided for the abolition of senates whereas syndicates will function as the highest authority in universities.
Besides, the recruitment of university teachers will be done by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC).