Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ introduced The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha on Monday (March 2) amid continuous disruptions over last week’s communal riots in Delhi.
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 11 last year, and was passed the following day.
The Bill is intended to convert India’s three deemed-to-be Sanskrit universities — (i) Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, (ii) Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, and (iii) Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati — into Central Sanskrit Universities.
The following are the salient features of the Bill according to a legislative brief prepared by PRS Legislative Research, the premier research organisation tracking the functioning of India’s Parliament.
What the universities will do
The proposed central universities will: (i) disseminate and advance knowledge for the promotion of Sanskrit, (ii) make special provisions for integrated courses in humanities, social sciences, and science, and (iii) train manpower for the overall development and preservation of Sanskrit and allied subjects.
Powers and functions
These include: (i) prescribing courses of study and conducting training programmes, (ii) granting degrees, diplomas, and certificates, (iii) providing facilities through a distance education system, (iv) conferring autonomous status on a college or an institution, (v) providing instructions for education in Sanskrit and allied subjects.
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Some of the authorities that the universities will have:
* A court, which will review the policies of the university and suggest measures for its development.
* An Executive Council, which will be the principal executive body. The 15-member council will include the Vice-Chancellor appointed by the Centre, who will be the chairperson; a joint secretary of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and two eminent academics from the field of Sanskrit or allied subjects. The council will, among other functions, create teaching and academic posts and their appointment, and manage the revenue and property of the university.
* An Academic and Activity Council, which will supervise academic policies.
* A Board of Studies, which will approve the subjects for research and recommend measures to improve standards of teaching.
Visitor of the universities
Like at all central universities, the President of India will be the Visitor of the central Sanskrit universities. He may appoint persons to review and inspect the functioning of the University. The Executive Council may take action based on the findings of the inspection.
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