The Maharashtra government will shortlist the Vice Chancellor of the university before electing a governor – Times of India

MUMBAI: Reducing the autonomy of public universities, the state cabinet on Wednesday cleared amendments to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 and decided to shortlist candidates for vice-chancellor. By changing the electoral system, the state will now receive a list of five nominees selected by the selection panel, select two and finally send the candidate to the Governor, the Chancellor of the University for selection.

With a signal from the agricultural universities, the state has also decided that the Minister of Higher Education will now be the Pro-Chancellor of all the state public universities. The Pro VC, who was appointed by the Chancellor in consultation with the VC, will now only be from a government or aided college.

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“The VC election process has been changed to avoid Chancellor’s political interference,” a state official said.

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To date, elections have been free of government interference. The VC / Provisional Inquiry Panel was headed by a Governor’s nominee, one member was recommended by the Governing Council and the third by the Academic Council. It invites applications, summarizes the candidates, interviews them, and sends five names to the chancellor, who chooses one.

Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samanta told TOI that the recommendations were made by an expert panel under former UGC chairman Sukhdev Thorat. The panel was formed to suggest changes in the law for effective implementation of the national education policy. “Agricultural universities have a post of pro-chancellor, which is in the hands of the agriculture minister. It was only a university under the Department of Higher and Technical Education where there were no posts, ”said Samantha. “Also, as far as the selection process of VCs and Pro VCs is concerned, we have followed the procedure of central universities where the selection panel sends its recommendations to the government which then sends them to the President,” Samantha said.

The minister dismissed speculation that the decision could become another flashpoint between the governor and the MVA government. “The governor is a constitutional position and there is no question of depriving him of his rights,” Samantha said. Relations between the MVA government and Governor BS Koshiari have been strained due to differences over a number of issues, including the governor-nominated seat in the legislature.

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Educationist and former principal Anil Rao has condemned the decision. “It simply came to our notice then. The Chancellor is the highest power and above all politics. Higher education must be fully autonomous and miles away from politics. Also, the decision to appoint the Minister of Higher Education as Pro-Chancellor will create dubious interests. ”

Matthew at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration said, “It is doubtful whether any other state has so much concentration of university functions and power with the government.”

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