THE draft Maharashtra Universities Act which will be tabled in the winter session of the state assembly has drawn the ire of former senate members of the University of Mumbai.
They have claimed that the proposed Act was a deliberate attempt to remove the voices of dissent from the university. The representatives of registered graduates, principals and teachers will meet next week to prepare a charter of objections and suggestions. They plan to present it to the MLCs of the Opposition parties.
Various stakeholders have alleged that the provisions in the draft Act aimed to commercialise the education system. They have alleged that it reduced the number of elected members to ensure that no one opposed the move. Madhu Paranjape, general secretary of Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU) said that the draft Act would take away the element of democracy and the autonomy of the university.
“The hidden agenda behind this draft Act is to dismantle the grant-in-aid system and bring it under the government. The proposed Act only seeks to commercialise the education system by giving it a legal framework,” she said. She added that the draft Act, if implemented, would reduce the number of elected members from at least 60 to 16.
Sanjay Shete, another former member of the senate and management council of Mumbai University, said that it was unfair that 80 per cent of the senate would be nominated by the Vice Chancellor, according to the provisions of the proposed Act. “This is a deliberate attempt to remove the voices from the senate,” he said.
TA Shiware, chairman of the Non-Government College Principals’ Association, said, “We will prepare a charter of our objections and suggestions in the coming week and try to sensitise the MLCs and subsequently MLAs of Opposition parties like the Congress and others.”