Higher education minister Arun Kumar Sahoo on Sunday finally spoke on amendment of the Odisha Universities Act, 1989. He clarified that the amended Act will not curtail the autonomy of the universities. He also discussed on different points of amendment in a webinar.
The minister said upper age limit of the vice-chancellors has been increased from 65 years to 67 years. Tenure of the VCs has been hiked from three years to four years. “It will help VCs in bringing long term change in universities,” he added.
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He said chancellor has the right to choose VC for a university. “The chancellor does not need recommendation of the state government. Out of three names, he/she will choose a name for VC post. That’s why we can say that the state government does not play any role in selecting VCs,” he added.
Sahoo said the government has brought amendment in the Act for appointment of teachers through Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC). “OPSC has been roped in to recruit teachers for universities in a transparent manner in order to save times and money of the universities. Number of universities is on the rise in the state and process for holding teacher recruitment is getting delayed. Keeping this situation in mind, amendment was done,” he added.
Similarly, the minister said, the state government amended the Act to recruit non-teaching posts through State Selection Board (SSB). “Universities get huge number of applicants for these posts and it has become a humongous task for these institutions to hold recruitment. After getting respite from doing this recruitment task, the universities can focus on other quality works,” he added.
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Sahoo said audit reports of the universities will be uploaded on the respective university websites for public view. “This is a good step to save lakhs of paper and money in publishing huge number of audit reports. Previously, it was available for members of legislative assembly. Public were not getting it. But now anybody can now go to the university website to read the audit reports. If anybody finds any issues with the reports, it can be discussed in the assembly,” he added.
He said Senates in the universities were lying defunct for years. “No meeting of Senate had been convened for years. It was there for namesake only. So the government repealed this Senate system. Syndicate is reorganised for better functioning. VC will be the chairperson of the university syndicate,” he added.
He said the government has repealed the Ravenshaw Universities Act, 2005 and brought all state public universities under one Act.
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