Former Vice-Chancellors oppose Govt. interference in running Varsities
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Former Vice-Chancellors oppose Govt. interference in running Varsities

July 1, 2017

Mysuru: The State Government’s move to bring in amendment to the Karnataka State Universities Act, is a step that would curb the development of Universities in the State and rob it of its autonomous status, said Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka State Universities President Prof. S.N. Hegde.

Addressing a press meet at a private hotel in city yesterday, Prof. Hegde said, according to the amendment, the State Government will appoint the teaching and non-teaching staff in 24 Universities in the State. As a result, the Government’s interference in running the Universities will increase. Added to this, it also wants to see that its approval is needed for any project worth over Rs. One crore undertaken by Universities. Such a move will not only affect the development of the Universities but also bring down the quality of teaching. Hence, we have decided to oppose this step and write letters to both the Governor and the State Government.

The Government should give autonomy to the Universities. It should not interfere in the appointment of Professors and Assistant Professors. By centralising the appointments, the standards of teaching will go down, he said.

The Government should seek the opinion of the experts whenever an amendment is made. But the Government without bothering to take the views of anyone has taken the decision in a hurry. However, two amendments have already been brought about to the Act. Now, it has come forward for one more amendment and the Assembly has approved it. This will cause the decline in standards at the Universities, he said.

Former KSOU Vice-Chancellor Prof. N.S. Ramegowda said that in the Search Committee for selection of Vice-Chancellors, there would be nominees each from the University, Government, UGC and the Governor. However, in this Act, the Government has sought to have two of its nominees in the Search Committee. This clearly shows the direct interference in the running of the Universities.

Former Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore Prof. K.S. Rangappa said, if the Government wants to restrict the use of finances in the Universities, then what was the necessity for a University itself. If this Act is implemented, then even to construct a single toilet, the Vice-Chancellor has to make frequent visits to Vidhana Soudha for permission.

If the Government feels that the corruption will be rampant due to the appointment of the teaching and non-teaching staff by the Vice-Chancellors, what guarantee is there that it will not happen when it does the appointment. The hundred-year-old University of Mysore, which had earned laurels over the years has lost its image within three months, regretted Prof. Rangappa. He also took exception to the decision of acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dayananda Mane for not challenging the Government order of reinstating Prof. Shivaraj saying that he (Mane) had not read the Act himself.

Former VCs Prof. Ambalike Hiriyanna, Prof. Prasad, Prof. Narayan Gowda, Prof. J.A.K. Tareen, Prof. P. Venkataramaiah, Prof. Srinivas Gowda and Prof. Chandrashekar were present.

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Former Vice-Chancellors oppose Govt. interference in running Varsities”

  1. It is unfair for the Govt. to have two nominees instead of one which is presumably at the cost of either the Governor or one of the rest. Therefore, the Govt. must step in immediately to veto this amendment which is contrary to the provisions of the Karnataka Universities Act and aimed at diluting the autonomy of the University and politicising the process of appointment of Vice-Chancellors. The Governor may refuse to approve of the names of the candidates for the VC’s post . There is urgency to this as the appointment of VC of the University of Mysore is coming up shortly. One hopes the Govt. steps in immediately to restore the status quo ante.

  2. Salman says:

    There Is no thumb rule as to whether the government intervention is good or bad for the autonomy of the universities! Yes, if the university can fairly and effectively use it for improvement and government serves as a hindrance then we don’t want it! But if the university wants autonomy to freely practice corruption and hide their nefarious activities, then, we are better if with government breating over their neck! We have seen/heard cases where a VC negotiatiated a Ph.D to be awarded as a marriage condition for her daughter that her potential father in law would be awarded a phd! Yes, that is the miracle of autonomy, no body can ask questions! We all have seen how ‘ MANASA GANGOTRI’ had become ‘@@@ GANGOTHRI’ even with so many controls! Very soon, universities will start hiring their family/caste members to important positions!

  3. Prakash says:

    The move of the Govt is good. This situation has been brought by the Universities themselves, because of the autonomy they enjoy, there were lots of corruption charges against one of the VCs who are there in the photograph. In India, when freedom is given, misuse will be rampant. All these years the universities had autonomy and full freedom, but what had happened? In what way the quality of teaching has been better?
    The retired VCs have to think before asking the Govt., not to intervene. Their administration was not good and there were many complaints on illegal appointments. One of the VCs who is appearing in the photograph had so many charges on him of nepotism, misuse of funds etc. I think the ex-VCs have no moral right to demand the Govt., not to make new rules.

  4. Bhamy V. Shenoy says:

    I am glad that VCs have realized finally they need to protest against the likely harm that will be caused to the university by the government interference. Why were they quiet all these years when these universities were going down hill? Why were they quiet when the general governance all around was in bad shape? As citizens are they responsible just to look after the health of the universities or should they also worry about the society they live in? They must have realized that the government is interested to monetize their political power by having the rights to control finance, appointing VCs and professors etc. Only honest and dedicated leaders will be concerned about the society. When they spend crores and get elected using money power, they are not bothered about this kind of protest. If VCs are serious they should either join the existing NGOs or start their own NGOs to cleanse the corruption in society. Are they ready for it?

  5. At this stage, the GOVERNOR alone would be in a position to apply brakes on the undesirable process of politicisation of Universities by witholding his assent to the amendments to the Karnataka Universities Act specially with regard to the provision to increase the number of the Govt.’s nominees on the Search Committee from 1 to 2 , at the cost of the Governor’s nominee, at that. The Governor may also reject any undesirable or tainted candidate for the post of VC nominated by the Search Panel and the Govt.

  6. Raju says:

    Every thief will want no police supervision! That applies to VCs too! Just an additional info, K.sRangappa is related to mr H.D. Devegowda! The following was a news item from the past that explained whywe they don’t want government interference unless it helps them loot more! Here was the news!
    MYSURU: University of Mysore Vice-Chancellor Prof K S Rangappa and six others have been booked under various sections of the IPC for alleged misappropriation of funds in the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU).
    A few days back, the Governor’s office had written to the KSOU to file a case against Rangappa, formerly the vice-chancellor of KSOU, another former KSOU VC Prof M Krishnan, former KSOU dean T D Devegowda, former KSOU registrar and current Mysore University bio-chemistry professor B S Vishwanath, KSOU director (IT division) Dr Kamlesh, deputy registrar of KSOU Ramanathan and KSOU registrar (administration) P S Naik.

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