Maharashtra government to withdraw bill that curbed Governor powers to appoint VCs in universities

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to withdraw a bill brought by the then Maha Vikas Aghadi administration that curtailed the 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 names to the governor for appointment as vice-chancellors in state universities.

The decision to withdraw the bill amending the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The Act was amended by the previous Shiv Sena-led MVA government. The amendment was intended to curtail the powers of the governor, with whom the then Uddhav Thackeray-led government had uneasy relations.

In December 2021, the state legislature passed the bill during the winter session. However, the bill was not approved on the ground that it was against the provisions of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Keeping this background in view, it was decided to withdraw the Bill,” said an official statement issued after the cabinet meeting. The governor is the chancellor of the state universities. Under the earlier mechanism, a VC was appointed by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of a nominee of the chancellor, a retired judge of the Supreme Court or HC, principal secretary and director of the higher and technical education department or the head of an institution of national repute established by an Act of Parliament.

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