With at least four attempts to amend the Karnataka State Universities Act (KSU) 2000 in the last 20 years, it seems like the Act has become the target of every government when they are in power.
Every time a new government comes to power, it tries to amend the KSU Act, 2000. Now it’s the turn of the Higher Education Minister Dr M C Sudhakar, who has issued a note to the principal secretary asking to constitute a committee headed by a retired IAS officer to recommend amendments to the said law.
Interestingly, none of the government has been successful in amending this pieceof legislation. When G Parameshwara was higher education minister between 1999 and 2004, he had constituted a committee of former vice-chancellor Prof Navneet Rao to recommend amendments to universities act. Though the committee submitted its report, the same was not considered by the government.
Another committee headed by Prof N R Srinivasan where over 45 members were there including officials from UGC, when Dharam Singh was the chief minister, the government had constituted the committee and accepted the report too, but nothing was implemented.
One more committee headed by Prof N R Shetty, also a former vice-chancellor, was formed when Aravind Limbavali was the higher education minister. But the committee submitted report when C T Ravi took charge of the portfolio. Basavaraj Rayareddi became the higher education minister in Congress government and he proposed amendments based on N R Shetty report, which was later returned by the governor.
However the recent attempt was by Dr C N Ashwath Narayan in 2022. Ashwath Narayan tried to replace the KSU Act by introducing The Karnataka State Public Higher Education Institutions Bill, which he could not place before the legislature.
As explained by the academicians, the main agenda of the governments all these years was to cut down the governor’s power and to take control of the universities’ administration.
The bill proposed by Ashwath Narayan when he was holding the higher education portfolio proposed to completely restructure the varsity administration by scrapping syndicate and academic councils.
(Published 11 November 2023, 22:40 IST)