Karnataka: Recommendation to form Board Of Governors in choosing VCs aimed to ensure transparency

While many universities in different states are caught in the political conundrum to elect Vice Chancellors, the Higher Education Department of Karnataka seems to be making efforts to undo the political impact in having a say in electing Vice Chancellors.

In a draft proposal submitted to the Higher Education Department on May 4 by Dr Vasudev Atre, senior academician and former head of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the constitution of BOG (Board of Governors) appears to be the major amendment that has been recommended. It may be recalled that a committee headed by Atre was formed in 2020 to make amendments to the Karnataka State University Act, 2000.

The draft proposal under which the constitution of the BOG is recommended has now been submitted to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. A senior official in the Karnataka State Higher Education Council said, “The proposal is drafted keeping in line with the National Education Policy, global education standards and also the state’s interests. The body of governors will include a group of eminent members who have equal representation of all stakeholders. It may consist of an academic council member, teacher, industry experts, and government official. The board of governors will be responsible for strategic planning for the university, laying out a vision, appointing the Vice Chancellor, accountability, monitoring different bodies and being involved in other critical roles.”

The official also mentioned that the BOG is the highest authority in the university, above the Vice Chancellor. “We have seen cases of Vice Chancellor’s appointments that are politically motivated. In Karnataka, we want to do away with any sort of political influence having a say in appointing Vice Chancellors and make universities more autonomous in their mechanism. The draft has been submitted to the Chief Minister and we are waiting for the approval,” said the official.

Minister for Higher Education Dr Ashwathnarayan C N said, “With the constitution of the BOG, the reforms are aimed to provide quality education on the lines of NEP 2020. BOG is also along the lines of the IIT model of appointing a Vice Chancellor to the university which will ensure transparency.”

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