Himachal Pradesh Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry University Amendment Bill passed in Assembly

Shimla: The opposition BJP created a ruckus in the Assembly against the passing of the Himachal Pradesh Universities of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry (Amendment) Bill 2023. Accusing the government of ending the autonomy of Agriculture University Palampur and Horticulture University Solan through this amendment bill, the entire opposition first created a ruckus in their seats and when the government did not accept their demand to withdraw the bill, they came near the Speaker’s seat and raised slogans against this bill for a long time. Amidst the uproar, Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar requested the House to pass the bill, which was passed by the House by voice vote.
BJP MLA from Naina Devi, Randhir Sharma while participating in the discussion on the amendment bill said that there is no need to bring the amendment. He said that two universities including Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni in Solan and Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni are functioning under the Himachal Pradesh Universities of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry Act, 1986.
He said that the functioning of both these universities is counted among the best in the country and through the amendment the state government wants to interfere in the functioning of these universities. He said that so far the Governor as chancellor used to appoint the vice-chancellors on the recommendations of a search committee but now the appointments would be made on the recommendations of the state government.
He said that the opposition is objecting to the amendment as this is direct interference of the state government in the autonomy of universities. He said this is also an attempt to reduce the rights of the Governor. Saying that there is no need to bring the amendment, he demanded that the government should withdraw the bill. He said that the state government has stated in the bill that it issues Grant-in-Aid to these institutions but the truth is that not only the state, even the central government also issues the funds and provides 33% budget. He said that with the amendment these institutions would become the centre of politics.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Congress MLA from Palampur, Ashish Butail supported the bill and termed the opposition’s allegations as baseless. He said that this bill will bring more transparency in the functioning of the universities.
The ruling party brought a censure motion against the opposition in protest against the ruckus created and sloganeering near the Speaker’s chair during the passing of amendment bill. This resolution was passed by the House by voice vote. The Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania also expressed strong objection to the behaviour of the opposition and said that he agreed with the censure motion of the government.
During this, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that it seems that the opposition is trying to change its mistake of Wednesday, that is why they are bent on creating ruckus in the House again and again. He said that a proposal was brought in favour of Himachal but the opposition did not stand with it and now it is trying to change this mistake. He said that the opposition raised slogans near the podium even though they were given ample opportunity to speak. He also said that the leader of the opposition has not looked so angry in five years as he is feeling now. His conduct is condemnable and the House condemns it, he said.

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