The Karnataka assembly today passed a bill amending an act, disallowing a private university from conducting courses pertaining to agriculture science. The bill was introduced in the wake of protests by students of Universities of Agricultural Science across the state against entry of private players in farm education. The bill, amending the Rai Technology University, Bangalore Act, 2012 (Karnataka Act 40 of 2013), seeks to disallow the Bengaluru based university from conducting the Agriculture Sciences Technology courses.
The bill, in its statement of objects and reasons, said the University had not followed guidelines mandated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), It said the amended act shall not affect the interest of students already admitted to the course.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said about 2,000 students are pursuing the course in the university, "which offers no quality education and facilities", while four Agriculture Universities in the state follow stringent parameters set for the course.
He said the University was providing direct admission to students and not following certain required norms.
Mr. Gowda also alleged that the university had not extended cooperation when a government committee went there to inspect the facilities.
Intervening, Agriculture Minister Shivashankar Reddy clarified that the government's motive in bringing the bill was not against private universities.
"The Rai Technology University enrolled about 2,000students in three years through direct admissions with donations, while Agricultural Universitites had 1500 students who were selected after a Common Entrance Test," he said. He too alleged that the University had not followed ICAR norms.
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