THE STATE Cabinet on Tuesday withdrew the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s Maharashtra Public Universities Act (Amendment), 2021, which curtailed the powers of the Governor and empowered the state government in recommending to the Governor the names for posts of vice-chancellors (V-C).
The amendment passed in the 2021 Winter Session of the state legislature had also appointed the state higher and technical education minister as the pro-chancellor of universities.
Sources said that despite being passed by the legislature, the Governor’s office had conveyed to the government that it had not sent the bill to the President for approval after it received various representations against the amendments. The BJP, then in Opposition, had opposed the amendment claiming that it will end the autonomy of universities. The bill was presented before the Assembly by then higher and technical education minister Uday Samant, who has now joined hands with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and is currently the industries minister.
As per the amendment, a committee was to recommend five names for the post of V-C, among which the government will suggest two names to the Governor, who is also the chancellor of state universities. The Governor will have to select one of the two names for the V-C’s post.
As far as the appointment of the pro-vice chancellor is concerned, the V-C will suggest names to the government and thereafter, the state will recommend three names to the chancellor (Governor). One of them will be then appointed as the PVC. Samant had then said that the government had proposed these changes based on recommendations of a committee chaired by former UGC chairman Sukhdev Thorat, to suggest improvements in the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, for effective implementation of the NEP, 2020.