JAC reiterates demand for withdrawal of J&K Public Universities Bill 2022

Leaders of Joint Action Committee against J&K Public University Bill addressing a press conference on Monday.
Leaders of Joint Action Committee against J&K Public University Bill addressing a press conference on Monday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 5: While welcoming the statement of the Lieutenant Governor to consider the suggestions on the J&K Public University Bill- 2022, Joint Action Committee against the University Bill has reiterated its demand for immediate withdrawal of the controversial Bill.
“The Bill in its present form is retrogressive, anti-academic, anti-University, anti intellectuals and will erode the Academic and administrative autonomy of the erstwhile State Universities / University governing bodies,” said Members of the Joint Action Committee, while addressing a press conference, here today.
The Joint Action Committee comprised of Jammu University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), SKUAST- Teaching Association Jammu, SSTA SKUAST-Kashmir, Non-Teaching Associations of JU and SKUAST-Jammu.
President JUTA, Professor Pankaj Srivastava told the media persons that clubbing of all the Universities under a single Bill is not feasible because of different profiles and natures of these Universities. “University of Jammu and University of Kashmir are regulated purely by UGC and are affiliating Universities, whereas, SKUAST-J and SKUAST-K are regulated both by ICAR and VCI. SMVDU and IUST are technical Universities and therefore regulated by AICTE and are Residential Universities,” he explained and reiterated that no single Bill can cater to and govern the different institutional nature of these Universities.
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President SKUAST-TAJ, Dr Vikas Sharma informed 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. Further, he added, when all the existing universities of J&K have been established through Acts duly discussed and passed by the erstwhile State Assembly, why is there a need for this new Bill?
President JUNTEU, Dr Rakesh Chib drew attention towards Provision 71 of the Bill which proposes to make all employees and teachers of the universities transferable from one university to another. “Univers-ities are research institutions and it takes years for a teacher to set up a laboratory or fetch projects and transfer of such a teacher will jeopardize all his efforts,” he said.
General Secretary NTEA-J, Zameer -ul- Haq, Dr Ravinder Singh (General Secretary JUTA), Dr Poonam Parihaar, Dr Savita Nayyar, Rajesh Sharma, Varun Dubey, Varun Sawhney, Dheeraj Rajwal, Arjun Jasrotia, Ram Singh, Kewal Kumar, Vikram Thakyal, Abhinav Sharma, Amit Raina and Sonika Sharma were also present in the press conference.