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Bill passed in WB Assembly to ensure improved higher education

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill, 2017 was today passed in the in the absence of opposition and members.

The Bill aims to ensure an improved administration and ideal environment in the state's higher education system.

The and Left MLAs continued their boycott of the house for the second day today in protest against the alleged assault of the Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan yesterday and held joint protests outside it.

Mannan took ill in the house while being evicted by the marshall yesterday and was hospitalised.

Tabling the bill state Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the does not have any intention of political interference in academic institutions.

He was confident it would help improve functioning of the state-aided universities and government-aided colleges in Bengal.

The bill, the minister said, was necessary to improve the standard of higher education in the state and would bring about a certain uniformity and standardisation in the rules, practices and procedures of these educational institutions.

It would clearly define the rights and duties of the various stakeholders and bring in greater responsibility, transparency and accountability among the managements and employees of the publicly-funded higher education institutions to achieve an efficent and vibrant higher education system in

The bill would enable the state too to have certain powers and control over the governing bodies of all government-aided colleges in respect of their constitution, powers and functions, the minister said.

Citing instances of financial and administrative irregularities in different universities and colleges, Chatterjee said the bill would empower vice-chancellors and principals to maintain discipline and accountability of the employees.

As per the Bill there would be performance appraisal reports and submission of annual declaration of assets by all the employees of the colleges and universities.

Provident fund of the employees of the colleges and universities would now be maintained in the treasury, he said.

Chatterjee said as per the government will have the

power to prescribe rules and procedures for conducting students' body or union election in a timely manner.

All appointments in colleges and universities shall be made after proper verification of antecedents and successful completion of medical examination.

To give effect to these provisions in the bill, the state government has reserved the rule-making powers in respect of prescribing a uniform code of conduct, terms and conditions of service and procedures of disciplines in respect of all employees, besides having power to conduct inspection and give directions from time to time, he said.

Stating that budgetary allocations were being enhanced every year considerably by the Mamata Banerjee government, the minister also assured to fill up all vacancies in the colleges and universities within six months.

During the day, the government also passed the Universities (Control of Expenditure) (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in the absence of opposition and in the House.

Since the state government enhanced the retirement age of teachers and similar kind of employees of the state-aided universities and government-aided colleges from January this year, this bill was necessary to recover additional recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the state government, the minister said.

First Published: Thu, February 09 2017. 21:02 IST