JAMMU, Nov 29: Joint Action Committee against the JK Public University Bill – 2022 today met former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at his residence and submitted a memorandum seeking withdrawal of the controversial University Bill.
The JAC comprised of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology- Teaching Association Jammu (SKUAST-TAJ), Jammu University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), SSTA SKUAST-Kashmir, Non-Teaching Associations of Jammu University and SKUAST-Jammu.
President SKUAST-TAJ, Dr Vikas Sharma briefed Azad that in provision 13 of the Bill, the position of Pro-Chancellor has been removed. In the existing Acts, the Chief-Minister is the Pro-Chancellor and the Governor remains the Chancellor thus maintaining the balance between the legislative and the executive in the working of the Universities. He added that such acts of dilution of the University governing bodies and interference into the academic / research domains of the varsities will affect the overall growth and functioning of apex academic institutions.
President JUTA, Professor Pankaj Srivastava informed the leader that the provision 49 of the bill reads that all the teachers will be considered as Public Servants, which is contrary to the existing rules and many Supreme Court judgments wherein it has been clearly stated that the teachers of universities are not public servants and the example is not far to seek as Jammu University’s active teacher not only contested elections but also remained Deputy Chief Minister of our erstwhile State.
The Joint action Committee of SKUAST-TAJ and JUTA expressed that if cleared, this bill will erase the individual identities of the existing Universities of J&K as many of the provisions of the bill are retrogressive in nature and are against the academic freedom of the University.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, after a patient hearing to the delegation, observed that this bill, first of its kind in India, will turn the highest seats of learning into mere Government offices and further assured that he will make every necessary effort for withdrawal of this anti-varsity bill.
The deputation comprised of Dr Ravinder Singh, General Secretary JUTA; Dr Rakesh Chib, President JUNTEU and other office bearers of non teaching associations namely Abhinav Sharma, Amit Raina, Ram Singh and Varun Dubey.
JAC calls on Azad, seeks withdrawal of J&K Public University Bill