To have greater say in appointment of VCs, state govt amending Himachal Pradesh Universities of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry Act

Shimla: After finding that there is no role of the democratically elected government in the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor in the universities even though the state government issues Grant-in-Aid to these institutions, the state government on Wednesday tabled the Himachal Pradesh Universities of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the Assembly to make the provision that in future a vice-chancellor is appointed by the Chancellor (Governor) on the aid and advice of the government.
State government has proposed to amend sections 2, 23, and 24 of the existing Act and further, a new section 55-A empowering the state government to make rules for carrying out the purposes of the Act has been inserted.
So far the Vice-was appointed by the Chancellor on the recommendations of the Selection Committee consisting of a nominee of the Chancellor; the Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research; and the Chairman, Universities Grants Commission or his nominee. Once the bill is passed in the Assembly, the state government will have a greater say in the selection process.
In the bill tabled in the Assembly by Agriculture Miniter Chander Kumar it has been stated that the National Education Policy 2020 lays the broad framework to bring about the qualitative changes to meet the aspirations of a young nation and to align the education system to meet global changes. “For this we need to have Vice-Chancellors who are capable of creating multi-disciplinary institutions that are committed to constitutional values and nation-building,” he said in the bill.
Chander Kumar in the bill said that it has been found that the existing provisions regarding selection of the vice-chancellor are restrictive as these do not take into account the aspirations of the people and do not allow democratic government to exercise its right to shape the institutions of higher learning.
He said that in democratic nations like ours, the institutions of higher learning must be headed by the people of eminence who can create world-class institutions that promote and foster values enshrined in the Constitution of India.

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