Odisha govt to scrap senates in universities, restructure syndicates

Odisha govt to scrap senates in universities, restructure syndicates
Press Trust of India | Sep 3, 2020 - 9:04 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Odisha government on Wednesday decided to abolish senates in universities and restructure syndicates, besides amending the law governing public varsities in the state. Senates and syndicates are decision-making bodies of state-run universities.

The state Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, felt that the senate has become more of an ornamental body and the real authority is exercised by the syndicate, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy told reporters. "The Cabinet, therefore, decided to do away with the concept of the senate and restructure the syndicate for smooth academic and administrative functioning of universities," he said. It was also decided that the Odisha Universities Act, 1989 which covers all aspects of public universities of the state will be amended as some of its provisions have lost relevance in the present context, Tripathy said. The Cabinet decided to reconstitute the committee which selects the vice-chancellor of a university by including in it a nominee of the state government, who will be an academician, in place of the member selected by the syndicate, he said. Thus, the state government will become a stakeholder in the selection of vice-chancellors.

The tenure of vice-chancellors will be extended by one year to four years, and the upper age limit for holding the post will also become 67 years in place of the current 65 years, the chief secretary said. No vice-chancellor will be re-appointed in the same university, he said. The Cabinet also decided to assign the responsibility of selecting university teachers to Odisha Public Service Commission and recruitment of non-teaching employees to State Selection Board in order to save resources of varsities, he said. Since the number of universities has increased manifold, it has become difficult to lay voluminous audit reports of every university every year before the state legislature.

"It is, therefore, decided that a university will upload its audit report in its website and the report will be there for at least three years for information of all concerned," the chief secretary said. He said that the Ravenshaw University will function under the Odisha Universities Act, 1989 as the Ravenshaw University Act, 2005 will be repealed. The other two unitary universities of the state are also functioning under the 1989 Act.

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