Establishment of private universities (self-financed universities) in Maharashtra will soon be a reality as the state government today issued government resolution (GR) in this regard. So far companies such as Reliance and Bharat Forge have evinced interests and have held series of meetings with the government.
Besides, DY Patil group engaged in educational activities and Ajinkya University have also held preliminary discussions with the state government on their proposed venture. The state government in April had already withdrawn the Maharashtra Self Financed Universities (Establishment & Regulation) Bill, 2011, passed by both the houses of legislature in August 2011.
Minister for higher and technical education Rajesh Tope told Business Standard “A promoter will have to submit its proposal to the state government which will be examined by a scrutiny committee comprising senior bureaucrats. There is no bar on investment. However, the proposal will be scrutinized especially to see that the promoter is not setting up the universityfor routine courses but keen to provide innovative sources focusing on research and development.” After the scrutiny committee clears the proposal the government will issue letter of intent.
“Although the proposed self financed or private universities will be provided a functional autonomy, it will be binding on them to strictly adhere to the stipulated norms and rules of the respective apex bodies for running courses,” Tope said. Besides, the government enjoys powers to call the records of these universities and initiate punitive action in the case of non compliance.
According to the minister, after the promoter receives letter of intent he will have to submit a detailed proposal to the government which will be treated as a bill to set up private university. “This will be cleared by the state cabinet and will subsequently be tabled in the state legislature for its clearance. After the due legislative clearance, the promoter will be able to kick start the work towards the establishment of the private university,” Tope said.
As far as the fulfillment of condition of reserving seats for certain sections, Tope said the proposed self financed or private universities will have to keep 50% reservation for women, the power, low income groups and those domiciled in Maharashtra. The land requirement for self-financed universities has been reduced to 10 acres from 4 hectares proposed in the earlier Bill in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, 15 acres from 10 hectares in devisal headquarters, 25 acres from 20 hectares in ‘tehsil’ or district headquarters and 50 acres from 20 hectares in rural areas, the minister informed.