Protect Autonomy of Universities in Karnataka.
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I sign this petition to express my dissent with the following provisions of the Karnataka State Universities Bill 2017.
1. Centralization of recruitment of teachers for all universities through a Board in which the universities concerned will have no representation.
2. Centralization of the approval process for infrastructure-related work in universities.
3. Vesting the state government with the power to annul any decision made by universities.
4. Further de-democratizing of bodies like syndicates with government nominees whose qualification could be just an undergraduate degree.
5. Vesting the state government with the decisive power in selection of Vice-Chancellors.
6. Curtailing the power of the Chancellor with regard to the key matters concerning administration of universities.
I firmly believe that universities can achieve academic excellence only when they are truly autonomous and allowed to take initiatives in introducing innovations in teaching and research. I am of the firm view that greater autonomy to the universities will certainly lead to more efficient and transparent functioning of the universities. That autonomy is a key factor in academic excellence is evident in the list of top ranking universities in the world. Centralized decision making on matters concerning academics and administration will seriously harm initiative on the part of the universities in general and teachers in particular. The proposed Bill will prove disastrous to the University structure and higher education. That corruption and decline in academic standards increased after the Karnataka Universities Act 2000 came into effect should be a pointer to what happens when political and bureaucratic interference is allowed in administration of universities. I also appeal to the government to hold consultations with teachers, experienced academic leaders, students, citizens, and other stakeholders on the structure, functions and responsibilities of the universities. .
Therefore, I appeal to the Government of Karnataka to drop the present Bill and bring in a comprehensive legislation to give greater autonomy to the universities.
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