The Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to withdraw a bill moved by the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) administration that curtailed powers of the Governor in the appointment of vice-chancellors in state universities.
The bill, passed by the legislature last year, empowered the Maharashtra government to recommend to the Governor the names for appointment as vice-chancellors in state universities.
The decision to rollback the bill, that amended the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, was taken at a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The Act was amended by the previous Shiv Sena-led MVA government. The amendment was aimed at curbing the powers of the Governor with whom the then-Uddhav Thackeray-led government shared an uneasy relationship.
In December 2021, the state legislature passed the bill during the winter session.
The bill was, however, not given an assent on the grounds it was against the provisions of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“Considering this background, it was decided to take back the bill,” said an official statement issued after the cabinet meeting.
The Governor is the chancellor of universities in the state.
Under the earlier mechanism, a VC was appointed by the chancellor on recommendation of a committee, which comprised a nominee of the chancellor, who is a retired judge of the Supreme Court or HC, principal secretary of the higher and technical education department and director or head of an institute of national repute established by an Act of Parliament.
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