M A I N   N E W S

All set for private varsities in Haryana
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The decks have almost been cleared for setting up private universities in Haryana. The state Vidhan Sabha today passed the Haryana Private Universities Bill, 2006, by voice vote after Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) members walked out of the House, saying that the law would encourage the “commercialisation of education”.

The Bill, once it becomes law, will allow anyone to set up a non-affiliating private university in the state, subject to certain conditions. Before applying for permission, the sponsoring body must have 20 acres outside the municipal limits or 10 acres within the municipal limits. It will have to establish an endowment fund with at least Rs 3 crore. This fund will be used as a security to ensure that the university complies with the provisions of the Act. The security can be forfeited if the sponsoring body contravenes any provision of the Act. The income from the endowment fund may be utilised for the development of the infrastructure of the university but not for meeting the recurring expenditure. A private university will have to admit at least 25 per cent of students of Haryana domicile.

The application will be processed by a committee appointed by the government and will submit its report within one month.

While the Governor of the state will be the Visitor of the university, the sponsoring body will appoint its Chancellor, who, in turn, will appoint the Vice-Chancellor out of a panel of three names prepared by the sponsoring body.

Mr Sushil Kumar Indora, Deputy Leader of the INLD group, and his colleague, Mr Balwant Singh, opposed the Bill on the plea that it would lead to the setting up of “teaching shops”.

Mr Karan Singh Dalal (Cong), who supported the Bill, said the area should be increased to 100 acres to ensure that commercial interests did not open “teaching shops”. Mr Amir Chand Makkar (Cong) also cautioned the government against the commercialisation of education.

Mr Dharam Pal Malik (Cong) said no university should be named after the relatives of sponsors.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Randeep Surjewala, said the setting up of private universities would not lead to the commercialisation of education but would add to the quality of education in the state.

Intervening in the debate, the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, suggested an amendment. He said out of 25 per cent seats reserved for students of Haryana domicile, 5 per cent should be free seats, 10 per cent should have 50 per cent concession in the fee and the remaining 10 per cent seats should have 25 per cent discount in the fee. He also said that there would be reservation of 10 per cent for the Scheduled Castes.

The amendment was carried.

The House also passed a Bill to set up the first women’s university in the state. The Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya Khanpur Kalan Bill, 2006, provides for setting up a women’s university to “facilitate and promote women in the field of higher education with special emphasis in emerging areas of information technology, computer education, medical sciences, biotechnology, environmental studies, technology and management studies.”

All officers of the university, barring those who would be exofficio like the Chancellor, would be women. The Bill takes the place of an ordinance issued earlier.



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