Lok Sabha passes Central Sanskrit Universities Bill

Lok Sabha passes Central Sanskrit Universities Bill
The Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha in Delhi (Source: Official Website) Team Careers360 | Dec 12, 2019 - 8:29 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019, was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 12. Once enacted into law, it will convert three existing Sanskrit teaching and research institutions into Central Universities and pave the way for new ones to come up.

Its most immediate effect will be to convert three Sanskrit institutions into Central Universities. The three are Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha in Delhi and the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. All three had been declared “deemed to be universities” and were run by societies. Once the Bill becomes law, the societies will stand dissolved.

The Bill’s provisions will be the government's guide to "establish and incorporate universities for teaching and research in Sanskrit" and will allow it “to develop all-inclusive Sanskrit promotional activities and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

‘Open to all’

The universities established under this law will be “open to all castes, creed, race or class”. The Bill says: “The University shall be open to all persons of either sex and whatever caste, creed, race or class, and it shall not be lawful for the University to adopt or impose on any person, any test whatsoever of religious belief or profession in order to entitle him to be appointed as a teacher of the University or to hold any other office therein or be admitted as a student in the University or to graduate thereat or to enjoy or exercise any privilege thereof.”

However, the law underpinning the governance of Banaras Hindu University had such a provision too. Despite that promise of inclusiveness, a Muslim scholar appointed in its Sanskrit department in November was hounded out by students and even some faculty members. They allegedly also attacked a professor from a historically marginalised caste.

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