Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The contentious Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in Odisha Assembly on Tuesday amid protest by the Opposition parties.

While senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra termed the Bill as ‘draconian’, BJP members boycotted the discussion on the matter in the House today.

It is pertinent to mention here that opposition parties have been demanding complete withdrawal of the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 as they alleged that the State Government was trying to snatch the autonomy of higher educational institutions in the State.

Odisha government had tabled the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 earlier in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly.

“It is a dark day in the history of Odisha Assembly. The Bill which was passed in Assembly is ‘draconian’. The government has accepted certain amendments which were proposed by us. But the autonomy of universities will be completed lost,” said Congress leader, Narasingha Mishra.

The opposition parties claim that through the new legislation, the State government wants to abolish the Senate in universities and bring in ruling party members to the committee so that it can control the recruitment process in the universities.

The Opposition parties also had earlier alleged the new bill recommends the appointment of teachers through the Odisha Public Service Commission which oversteps the university autonomy in the recruitment of faculty members.

On the other hand, Higher Education Minister, Arun Sahoo refuted the allegations of the Opposition.

“Only some clauses have been amended. Other parties had raised objection on the appointment of teachers through OPSC. But we have informed that there will be three subject experts for recruitment. We want to speed up the recruitment process,” said Sahoo.

On the abolition of the provision of Senate, Sahoo further stated that there are plans to strengthen the Syndicate.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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