K’taka govt withdraws six pvt varsity bills owing to objections from ruling, oppn parties


BELAGAVI: The Karnataka government on Thursday withdrew the bills to set up six private universities owing to objections not only from the opposition Congress and JD(S) but also from the ruling BJP MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan tabled the GM University Bill, The Sapthagiri NPS University Bill, Rajya Vokkaligara Sangha University Bill, The T John University Bill, The Kishkinda University Bill and The Acharya University Bill.
As the GM University Bill came up for discussion today, Narayan said 40 per cent of the seats will be regulated, while the fees for the remaining 60 per cent will be based on the consensual agreement by the Fees Regulation Committee.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who is a former Primary and Secondary Education Minister, wondered whether any out-of-the-box thinking can be expected from these universities.
“Our students are flooding foreign universities. Why can’t we bring foreign students here for studies by giving a quality education?” Kageri said.
Backing the Speaker, Congress legislator Priyank Kharge said there should be change in the academic council and the appointment of the vice chancellors should not be political.
“You have rightly said that we lack the out-of-the-box thinking. We are creating highest unemployed engineers,” Kharge said.
“While the reputed universities of the globe show the Nobel laureates and prestigious award winners in their prospectus, the first thing our universities write is that the campus is spread of a sprawling 125 acres. Is this a university or a real estate business?” Kharge pointed out.
Another senior Congress MLA H K Patil advised the government to introduce an ordinance first instead of passing the bill without proper discussion.
BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali, who was the former Higher Education Minister, said the bill does not show any government control over these private universities. He even cited the example of a private university whose vice chancellor was murdered because the government did not have any say in the matter related to the university.
Two other BJP legislators Veerabhadrayya (Veeranna) Charantimath and Basavangouda Patil Yatnal too opposed the bills saying that a detailed discussion was needed.
The government had planned to get it passed in the assembly and also in the legislative council today. However, owing to the stiff opposition, Narayan withdrew the bills.

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