The state Assembly passed the Uttar Pradesh Higher Education Services Commission (second amendment) Bill with voice vote on Friday.
According to the amendment, the maximum age limit for holding the office of the chairman of UPHESC has been increased from 65 years to 68 years. Another amendment increased the term of office of the members, including that of the chairman, from two years to five years.
BJP leader Dr Radha Mohan Das Agarwal said the Bill should be sent to a select committee which will give its report within a month. “There cannot be pick and choose policy and rules should be same. It should not appear the amendment has been done to favour a particular person,” the leader stated. He also said that there is anomaly in the retirement age of teachers in various state universities and medical colleges which ranges from 60 to 65 years.
In response to this, minister Ambika Choudhary said the BJP member has not opposed the amendment but only suggested that there should be a uniformity in retirement age of various universities, while suggesting that the retirement age cannot be made uniform with just one signature. Dr Agarwal candidly stated: “Why do you want that I say everything openly? It should not be for a particular person, (is it required that) I shall say that openly (too)?”
In February this year, the state government had appointed Dr Tazeen Fatima, wife of parliamentary affairs minister Azam Khan, as the chairperson of the Commission. She, however, had turned down the offer.
Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey passed the Bill with voice vote.
The state government, in its statement of objects and reasons for making the amendment in the UPHESC Act, 1980, said it is being done with the object of expediting selection of principals and teachers in aided non-governmental colleges affiliated to the state universities.
In another bill, the Uttar Pradesh Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) (amendment) Bill introduced by minister Choudhary, waqf properties too have been included in the definition of public premises. The government mentioned that Section 54 of the Waqf Act, 1995 provides for preventing of unauthorised encroachment on waqf properties, but the process thereof is complicated and time-taking due to which removal of unauthorised occupation on such properties has become ineffective.