All private universities in Uttar Pradesh will now have to give an undertaking to the government, saying that their campuses will not be allowed to be used for "any anti-national activity", a new ordinance says.
The draft of a new ordinance, which will pave the way for an umbrella act, was approved by Yogi Adityanath's cabinet on Tuesday. It says that universities will have to abide by the promise they had made during their foundation as per the law, that is to "preserve the secular, democratic fabric and aspire for universal brotherhood and tolerance".
The ordinance will now be presented in the state Assembly in the session beginning from July 18.
All private universities in the state, including the 27 existing ones, would come under this common law as per the new ordinance that is being introduced to 'remove anomalies' in the functioning of private universities in the state.
Under the new provisions, that are part of the conditions laid down by the Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Ordinance, 2019, private universities will also have to abide by the academic calendar as established by various controlling bodies.
The ordinance is aimed at "improving functioning and academic standard of these universities".
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The varsities will have to ensure admission to specific number of students from poor communities on 50 per cent fee and keep 75 per cent faculty as permanent employees. In cases of anomalies, the state's higher education council will now be empowered to probe the matter.
These provisions will give the state government more power to keep a check on the financial and academic activities of private universities. It is being seen as an attempt to regularise the functioning of the private universities and to bring them under the government scanner.
The ordinance also states that "universities will not be allowed to bestow an honorary degree without prior approval of the state government".
The appointment of Vice-Chancellor can be done by the Chancellor only after consultation with the governing body.
"It has been proposed in the ordinance that 'land for the university cannot be sold, transferred or leased though it can be mortgaged to a bank or financial institution for establishment of the university," the ordinance says.
According to the ordinance, the State Higher Education Council will now be the nodal agency that will oversee compliance of the ordinance and rules. It empowers the council to file reports with the government for action if it is unable to get information from any private university within a specified period of time.
The council, as per the ordinance, will inspect a university at least once a year to monitor the quality of education and its compliance with rules, and submit an annual report on its working. If any violation comes to light, the state government will issue appropriate instruction which will be mandatory for the university to follow.