Government move aims to curb corruption, nepotism in State-run Universities
Bengaluru: In a move that is being perceived as an attempt to reform State-run Universities, the State Government has proposed comprehensive amendments to the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000. According to the amendments, a ‘Centralised Appointment Committee’ will be constituted to clear all appointments in the Universities. This is to curb corruption and nepotism in the Universities.
The Committee will have sweeping powers to make both teaching and non-teaching staff appointments for Universities and the bodies that are governed by the University authorities. The Government’s move comes in the wake of allegations that the University heads are making questionable appointments that are mostly leading to corruption in the education system.
A meeting of all the University heads across the State was held in Bengaluru yesterday to discuss the constitution of the ‘Centralised Appointment Committee.’ The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Minister Basavaraja Rayareddy. Vice-Chancellors of all the 25 Universities in Karnataka participated.
While the ‘Centralised Appointment Committee’ is proposed to curb corruption, it could also restrict the authority of the Vice-Chancellors. The Minister said that taking cognisance of financial irregularities in over a dozen Universities across the State, reported in the past five years, the Government has proposed to rescind the absolute powers of the VCs in appointment and construction activities.
“We will also set up Karnataka Higher Education Construction Company and Karnataka Higher Education Recruitment Commission, to bring about transparency in the financial transactions of the Universities. This will curb corruption in recruitment of teaching and non-teaching personnel,” he said.
“Our idea is to ensure that Universities are accountable, and their mode of functioning remains transparent. This will also ensure that the focus of the Universities remains on academic issues,” he said. Despite orders that Vice-Chancellors have no powers to make any appointments six months before demitting office, several Vice-Chancellors have flouted the rules, Rayareddy said.
He went on to add that the Government would eschew the practice of appointing faculty members to administrative positions. “We will look to appoint eligible KAS and IAS Officers to the post of Registrars. We will appoint professional financial and Accounts Officers, who will ensure proper maintenance of accounts,” Rayareddy said.
The amendment also proposes to change rules pertaining to the selection and appointment of VCs — by appointing committed and able individuals to search Committees.
The appointment process for teaching and non-teaching staff at Universities will be along the lines of those selected through the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC).
The Commission will issue notification for recruitment, and the candidates will be selected following tests and interviews, the Minister added.