JAMMU: Maintaining that the Jammu Kashmir Public University Bill, 2022 will erode the autonomy of universities, the UT unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shakshik Mahasangh (ABRSM) today organised a meeting with eminent educationists and stakeholders in Jammu, seeking withdrawal of the Bill, at earliest.
Government of Jammu Kashmir in recent past approved the bill with a view to address the issues regarding a wide variety of universities in JKUT and separate acts governing each university or group of universities with existing regulations.
National Auditor & President of Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shakshik Mahasangh, Jammu Kashmir, Devraj Thakur said, “The bill granted the power of recruitment to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the State Service Recruitment Board (SSRB) instead of UGC laws.”
Apprehending irregularities in recruitments in post bill situations, he said, “The recruitment will be done by the PSC and the SSRB, which has already been involved in multiple recruitment scams in recent times.”
Further questioning the need of the said bill, Thakur asked why has this bill been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir alone while all universities across the country are governed by UGC rules?
He said universities are autonomous bodies and government/bureaucratic interference in their functioning would disturb the working atmosphere and kill the basic spirit of autonomy at these institutions of higher learning.
“This bill is uncalled for, and at aimed at ending the autonomy of the universities in Jammu and Kashmir. The universities’ financial autonomy was never something to talk about, but now this bill is a direct attack on our Administrative and Academic autonomy as well,” Thakur said.
Thakur said, the aforementioned Bill tends to erode the autonomy of Universities in the UT.
Apart from Financial, the Bill is the direct interference in the Administrative and Academic autonomy of the University, and meddling into the internal affairs would disturb the working atmosphere, besides downgrade the basic spirit of educational Institutions in J&K.
“Every university has its constituent act and is working in accordance with that Act. The universities in J&K are of good repute, very old and are among the top 60 universities in India. We are growing, and our research and faculty is of international level. There is no need for a new bill.If there is any deficiency or if there is a need for transparency, the government can modify the governing act of the universities,” Thakur said.
“We will not tolerate the outside interference, that this bill seeks to facilitate,” he added. The bill, it may be mentioned, proposes that the appointment to any post in all universities would be filled by JKPSC and SSRB, which has led to widespread resentment among the teaching and student fraternity.
According to the Bill, no University which receives any financial support from the Government shall without the prior approval and written consent of the Government create any post in any category, including temporary, revise the pay, grant any special pay, allowance, divert any earmarked funds or take any decision regarding affiliated colleges that has the potential to result in increased financial liability.
Other key points proposed in the Bill, include dismissal of any employee of the university without an enquiry in the interest of the security of the State, nomination of university Registrar by the Government on deputation basis, appointment of a Finance Officer by the Government, transfer of any employee from one university to another university and constitution of J&K Higher Education Council, which shall act as advisory body for higher education in Jammu and Kashmir.
ABRSM threatened massive agitations by stakeholders, colleges and universities across the Union Territory and demanded immediate withdrawal of the bill.