ABVP threatens stir against J&K Public Universities Bill

ABVP leaders addressing a press conference at Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
ABVP leaders addressing a press conference at Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 13: Reiterating its stand for autonomy to the institutions of higher education, J&K unit of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad has threatened stir against the controversial Jammu Kashmir Public Universities Bill-2022, which has been purportedly sent to the MHA for further action.

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“ABVP strictly demands that the Public University Bill-2022, which would diminish the autonomy of public institutions with direct and unwelcome bureaucratic intrusion, must be repealed immediately. Ironically, while the National Education Policy supports giving financial, administrative, and educational autonomy to universities, the Public University Bill – 2022, which was recently approved by the Academic Council of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, aims to eliminate the autonomy of public universities in the Union Territories,” said ABVP State Secretary Akshi Billowria, while talking to media persons, here today.
She alleged that with the object of gaining control over the autonomous setup of universities, the bureaucrats were copying the model bill from various other States, one of them being Karnataka where the bill is controversial as well. “The Public University Model of the State of Orissa was challenged by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the Supreme Court and the Public University Bill – 2022 is also doomed to suffer the same fate in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said and suggested that the administration should avoid conflicting with the stance of the UGC by implementing the disputed bill.
Further, the ABVP leader alleged that the J&K Government had a bargaining over the Public University Bill with the university teachers, whose retirement age was increased from 62 to 65. “Earlier, the teachers’ organisations in Jammu and Kashmir had opposed this bill, but after a quid pro quo, they agreed to surrender autonomy of the universities for their personal benefit of three more years of service,” she said and also opposed the increase in retirement age as will adversely affect the educated unemployed youth looking for vacancies to apply for.
“The J&K Government must repeal the Public University Bill immediately and reconsider its decision to raise the retirement age for university professors,” said Akshi and warned an indefinite agitation if no action is taken on the ABVP demand within ten days.