Title: Further Discussion on the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, 2007.
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRIMATI D. PURANDESWARI): Sir, on behalf of Shri Arjun Singh, I beg to move:
“That the Bill to amend the Mizoram University Act, 2000, as passed by Rajya Sabha, be taken into consideration.”
“That the Bill to amend the Mizoram University Act, 2000, as passed by Rajya Sabha, be taken into consideration.”
SHRI TAPIR GAO (ARUNACHAL EAST): Hon. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, 2007. On behalf of the people of the North-East, I would like to thank and congratulate the hon. Ministers who have taken pain to bring this Bill for amendment.
13.38 hrs. (Shri Mohan Singh in the Chair)
Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Mizoram University Act was passed in 2000 and the University was established on 2nd July, 2000 itself. People of Mizoram are in need of a University with good infrastructure. Not just Mizoram, the entire North-East is in need of such universities. The UPA Government has created Central Universities in many North-Eastern States. We need good infrastructure for better education to our children.
In this Mizoram University, 26 colleges have been affiliated and 7,000 students are studying there. Under Post-Graduation, 1,840 students are there. But out of 39 Departments in the University, only 27 Departments are in existence.[MSOffice14]
Therefore, I would like to urge upon the hon. Minister and the Government to establish al the 39 requisite UGC departments in the Mizoram University. Here, I would like to inform the hon. Minister and the House that in the Tenth Plan, only Rs. 76,000 crore has been allotted to the Mizoram University. It is insufficient for the establishment of a good university in Mizoram and in the North-Eastern States. Therefore, the Government of Mizoram has given proposals during the Eleventh Five Year Plan for the establishment of infrastructure development in the University. Therefore, it is my humble submission on behalf of the people of Mizoram that in the Eleventh Plan all the requisite proposals submitted by the Mizoram Government should be fully allotted to Mizoram for the establishment of all the requisite 39 departments in the Mizoram University.
Sir, fortunately, the UGC has given to the Mizoram University the School of Management and the School of Technology and Engineering. It needs more facilities. I think the hon. Minister is very conscious about this University. It is not only the Mizoram University but also all the newly created Universities should be given a lot of emphasis for the better education in the North-Eastern Region.
Sir, we need more funds for the infrastructure development in the North-Eastern Regions. The students who belong to the North-Eastern Regions are facing a lot of problems for getting admissions in the Metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Therefore, more departments, especially IIT like departments should also be established in Mizoram University. I hope that the Government of Mizoram has given all the requisite proposals for the Mizoram University.
Therefore, I would request the hon. Minister to take care of this University. Sir, with this amendment, my brothers and sisters of Mizoram will really benefit and the establishment will get a lot of facilities. Therefore, I rise here to support the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill.
DR. THOKCHOM MEINYA (INNER MANIPUR): Mr. Chairman, Sir thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, 2007. This Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 15th of May. 2007. I join my hon. friend, Shri Tapir Gao, while congratulating the hon. Minister of Human Resource Development for bringing out this amendment.
Sir, let me just tell you very frankly that this Mizoram University Bill was one of the first such Bills of a Central University in that part of the State. In the beginning, this Bill has all the requisite articles of a Central University where the Governor of a State do not have much role to play. But when the other Central Universities are coming up, say for example, when we wanted to convert the University of Allahabad as Central University and also the Manipur University into Central University, then we have discussed about the role of the Governor in the university system. In that regard, the Mizoram University’s original Bill did not have the Governor’s role at all. Normally, the Central University does not have the role of the Governor. We have the Visitor, then after that we have the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor and like that the whole system was working. But we wanted to put the Governor’s role because many of Central Universities do not have the State-wise region. In the North-Eastern India, we have started introducing Central University or many of the universities are now converted into status of a Central University. In that case, what we want to do was, we want to put the responsibility.
Rather, we want to put the Governor in the system. So, the post or Office of the Chief Rector was introduced. The Governor should come in the hierarchy after the Visitor. Perhaps, this omission was to be rectified. Now, the HRD Ministry has come out with this amendment. It is right time that the Central Universities which are based in the respective States of the country should have the Governor in the system who should have some role in the system. So, I welcome this amendment. This is a good piece of legislation for making a similarity, rather regular involvement of the Governor, in the administration of the University.
While discussing about the amendment and supporting it, I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Minister of HRD to one aspect. In some of these Central Universities, the administration, of course, is vested in the Vice-Chancellor. But as the Visitor is His Excellency the President of India, sometimes, communication gap is there. I am not blaming the system. It always happens. Even though the system of information technology is developing so fast these days, there are certain things which we have to look into. I am not going away from the scope of this Bill.
For example, the Manipur University became a Central University some one year back. You know the skeleton staff is there. For the posts of Registrar and the finance officer, interviews had been conducted long back but the results are still awaited. This thing should not happen because the administration there suffers very much. So, I would very earnestly request that all the Central Universities in the North-East should improve. Now, almost every State in the North-East is having a Central University. The Mizoram University is the first of this kind. This omission of the Governor’s role in the system is now being rectified. We congratulate the Ministry and the hon. Minister in this regard. While congratulating, I wish that the administration should be improved so that the purpose for which the State Universities are made into Central Universities is very well served. This is one thing which I would request.
At the same time, the standard of higher education in those areas is important. I think we have to draw the attention towards that aspect. When I say this, the hon. Union Minister would definitely tell me that education belongs to the Concurrent List. Even then, if it becomes a Central University, he has to take appropriate action. There are colleges in that part of the country where the number of teachers is more than the number of students. It is so in the Government colleges also. So, the system has become very bad. I think the Central Government while running the Central Universities will also look into this because these are colleges which are affiliated colleges to the University. So, when the number of teachers is more than the number of students, you have to see that this thing should not happen in the interest of the development of higher education.
With these few words, I once again congratulate the Ministry and the hon. Minister and support the amending Bill.
In this connection, I have to make some observations regarding our legislative business in connection with this also. There were troubles in the House, disorder of the type which we witnessed. Ours is a law-making body. So, law should be made after due discussion. There was no discussion in this House at least in this week itself. Three or four Bills were passed without any kind of a discussion. It was a very unfortunate situation that was created in the House. The Government should make one thing clear. I would tell this. Do not make use of the situation in getting a Bill passed without due discussion. There may be troubles in the House. It is quite natural. But the Government has a responsibility. It is their responsibility to see that a Bill is passed after proper discussion. But proper discussion did not take place in the House for the last three or four days. Important Bills were passed. I had given notice. I did not get an opportunity of taking part in the discussion.[R15]
This is a very unfortunate situation. I advise the UPA Government to be very careful on this matter. The Government should take care to see that this law making body makes laws after proper discussion in the House. For example, take the case of Tyre Corporation of India Bill. The Tyre Corporation of India was formed by an Act of Parliament. The Government should have taken care to include this in the Revised List of Business that was circulated to Members in the morning, but they did not do that. If it had been included in the Revised List of Business for today, I could have given due notice raising certain objections quoting constitutional provisions. What is the policy of the UPA Government? Are they supporting privatisation of public sector undertakings? If they are not, then it is against their own policy. I agree that there may be situations and there may be occasions for the Government to take a liberal decision. But that must be taken after due consultation. The Government should have given us an opportunity to express our views by including this Bill in the Revised List of Business, but that was not done. After the adjournment of the House, during the interval we got a Supplementary List of Business including this Bill as Item No. 23B. This is not proper.
MR. CHAIRMAN : Mr. Radhakrishnan, the subject matter before the House is Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill. You speak on that.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : I am talking about the conduct of the Government in relation to legislative business before the House. What they are doing is not correct. I have an experience of more than 30 years as a legislator. I have been the Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly and I have been a Member of this House for three terms. But never in my life have I come across such a situation where the Government is including a Bill for introduction in the House through a Supplementary List of Business during the course of the day.
Coming to the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, I take this opportunity to highlight some issues that have come up for public discussion. I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Minister who is piloting this Bill regarding the direction given by the Supreme Court yesterday about ragging in higher educational institutions. The Supreme Court has said that ragging is a criminal offence. The business of ragging is prevalent in all professional colleges as well as in other higher educational institutions. This is not only a criminal offence, but it is also against our culture. As ragging has become a normal practice in almost all higher educational institutions, the Supreme Court found it proper to give a direction that the concerned educational institution will be liable to take action if ragging takes place there.
Sir, we know that education, as a whole, is a Concurrent Subject. The Central Government is also having the legal authority to make laws. So, the Central Government should bring a legislation stating that all State Governments should bring legislations which contain a provision that ragging should be prevented in all educational institutions. So, a Central legislation is the need of the hour as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
There is another problem with regard to reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions. The Supreme Court has taken a different view on this. But our view is entirely different from that of the Supreme Court. We want that the Other Backward Classes, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes should be given their due share of representation in all higher educational institutions.[R16]
F[r17] or that also, the Government should take a very firm stand against the stand taken by our Apex court and whenever we take into consideration the Mizoram University Bill, this matter must also be borne in mind by the concerned Ministry and they must take a very firm stand in protecting the rights of OBC and SC/ST students in higher education. For that purpose, if a legislation is required, the Government should also come forward with a legislation if that need be there.
With these observations, I support this Bill.
श्री गणेश प्रसाद सिंह (जहानाबाद) : सभापति महोदय, मैं मिजोरम विश्वविद्यालय विधेयक, 2007 पर बोलने के लिए खड़ा हुआ हूं। बिल को देखने से बिल्कुल ही स्पष्ट है कि बिल काफी संक्षेप में है, सिर्फ मिजोरम विश्वविद्यालय अधिनियम की धारा-9 में एक पंक्ति जोड़नी है और वह यह है कि मिजोरम के राज्यपाल इस विश्वविद्यालय के कुलाधिसचिव अधिसचिव होंगे। यह कोई जटिल समस्या नहीं है। आप देखते होंगे कि अन्य प्रदेशों में भी जो विश्वविद्यालय होते हैं, उनके कुल सचिव या कुलाधिपति राज्यपाल महोदय हुआ करते हैं।
सभापति महोदय, मिजोरम विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना वर्ष 2000 में हुई थी और उसके बाद वर्ष 2001 में महामहिम राष्ट्रपति जी इसके विज़िटर के रूप में आसीन हुए थे। मिज़ोरम काफी पिछड़ा क्षेत्र है, इसके विकास एवं उच्च शिक्षा के प्रचार और प्रसार के लिए यह विश्वविद्यालय वहां चल रहा है। पहले इफ्रास्टक्चर नहीं था, इसलिए इसके भवन वगैरह नहीं थे, लेकिन अब इसके भवन वगैरह बन कर तैयार हो गए हैं। इसके अधीन काफी डिग्री कॉलेज हैं, इसमें इसकी आवश्यकता थी। इसलिए मैं इस बिल का समर्थन करता हूं।
SHRI AJOY CHAKRABORTY (BASIRHAT): Thank you Mr. Chairman Sir. I am happy that we have the scope to discuss this Bill before passing this Bill. I rise to support the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, though we have a limited scope to discuss this subject because the Bill is very small.
Sir, there are no divergent opinions on passing the Bill. But my submission is that the Mizoram is one of the seven sisters of our country and Mizoram is a financially weaker and backward State. Every time, we speak on this and the Prime Ministers from different political parties and fronts have stated that the Government is very much keen to bring the seven sisters, the North-Eastern States, of our country into the mainstream.
Sir, Mizoram State itself is a financially weaker State, the infrastructure facility is very much low. The Mizoram State Government has established this university for the proper and higher education of the students of that particular State. But as being the poor State, the infrastructure facility is very much low.
Sir, education is in the Concurrent List. But the State also has the responsibility to give education to the people as well as the Government of India has tremendous responsibility for rendering assistance to the State Government for the upliftment of the education among the people of that particular State, particularly, the students.
Here, the Governor has given some powers so far as the University is concerned. Barring a few universities, like Vishwa Bharati Vishwavidyalaya, so far as I know, in most of the universities, Governor is the Chancellor of that university. So, the Governor should be the Chancellor of the university. There is no divergence of opinion on that.[r18]
I would humbly submit before the hon. Minister and also before this august House that as Mizoram is financially weaker and backward State – that is the hilly area – the Government of India should come forward to render all possible financial assistance and other sorts of assistance for the development of the educational system of Mizoram. It should assist them financially; it should assist them for providing infrastructural facility so that they can offer different subjects to the students, to read different subjects in the University like other big age-old Universities.
I hope the Government will look into the matter and take appropriate steps and action to improve the educational facility, to improve the infrastructure there so that the students of Mizoram and other North-Eastern States will be able to get higher education as per other developed States of the country.
With these words I conclude and I support the Amendment Bill.
MR. CHAIRMAN : Shri Francis Fanthome – not present.
Shri Mani Charenamei.
SHRI MANI CHARENAMEI (OUTER MANIPUR): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, 2007. Mizoram is a small State in terms of size. In terms of economy, it is backward. But, in terms of education and literacy it is second only to Kerala. Amongst the North-Eastern States, it is a purely tribal State and it has advanced much ahead than the other States in this country. It has produced brilliant students and efficient people all over the country and many of them are now in the All India Services, and they are providing good service to the nation.
This University should not only have the minimum infrastructure but then this University or this State – particularly the Mizoram University – should have that kind of infrastructure which the country is providing to the best Universities in the country because they have got enough educated people and they can man the University efficiently. But the problem here in the North-Eastern Region is that we are finding difficulty in getting good Professors, good teachers in the North East. Being a Central University, the appointment of teachers is also done according to the Central norms. But sometimes we find it difficult because the ST quota is only 7.5 per cent. Sometimes the people from the State alone cannot get into the service because the quota is very limited. We find that people are not willing to come to teach in these remote areas. The shortage of teachers is the biggest problem in the North-Eastern Region. I would like to cite a few examples which are there in Manipur University. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that last year, in Manipur University, there was recruitment of 70 teachers, namely, 23 Professors, 26 Readers and 21 Lecturers. In the first category of Professor and Reader, there was no SC/ST reservation. Only in the case of Lecturers – 21 Lecturers – there was reservation for SCs/STs and OBCs. This kind of discrimination is going on in the North-Eastern Regi[r19] on.
That is why, we need that the Governor of the State or the neutral authority to be involved and his involvement should be brought in so that he can do justice. In a State like Manipur, where many communities stay together and where tribal population constitutes 33 per cent of the State, the role of a neutral authority is very important to do justice to all the people, in the interest of the University as well as in the interest of the students.
Sir, with these words, I support this Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill.
SHRI SURAVARAM SUDHAKAR REDDY (NALGONDA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have a confusion regarding this Bill. As far as I understand, in the whole of the country, the Governors, who are the constitutional heads, will be the Chancellors of the University, whereas here, it is proposed that the Governor of the State of Mizoram shall be the Chief Rector of the University. If it is the same, I do not know why it is not being named as the Chancellor. Why is it the Chief Rector? In most of the Universities, the Rectors will be the University Professors. I do not know what the Chief Rector is. While the hon. Minister was introducing the Bill, nothing could be heard because of the disturbance in the House. I do not know whether there is any explanation about this.
Of course, I do not oppose it because I do not understand the reason behind this amendment making the Governor as the Chief Rector of the University. I would like to hear her explanation.
I would like to present a few points on this occasion.
India, being a great and big country, we need more and more Universities and particularly in the backward areas, University will help to expand specialization of education in those areas. In the North East area also, if the Government is in a position to have new Universities, they should give more new Universities.
While the Government is spending more amount on education, there is a feeling that higher education is being abandoned from the responsibility of the Government of India. It is true that we have to spend more money for elementary education and secondary education but at the same time, in a country with 300 million people living below the poverty line we need to spend a good amount of money on higher education also. We cannot leave it to the private people only. The so-called private Universities and the foreign Universities are not going to meet the needs of our education. They will come here not on the philanthropic and educational reasons but they come here for commercialization. Hence, the Government of India should not abandon its responsibility of expanding higher education, spending more amount and giving more Universities. Compared to many other countries, the number of Universities in our country is much less. It is necessary that more amount should be spent on it and more new Universities should be brought in. At the same time, we should take all care to see that the standards of education in the Universities should be kept up so that the students who come out of these Universities will be accepted as a specialist.
Sir, on this occasion, I would like to make an appeal to the hon. Minister. In my constituency, Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh, there is a very popular Institute, Swami Ramanand Tirtha Rural Institute. The hon. Minister must be knowing about that Institute because she comes from Andhra Pradesh. It was expected to start as a rural University but as no degree courses and post graduate courses are allowed, it is still an Institute only. It has got all the pre-requisites that are necessary and all qualifications for becoming a University.[R20]
[r21] I would request the Union Government to allot special funds to start degree courses and post-graduate courses, and declare it as a full fledged University.
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRIMATI D. PURANDESWARI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir. At the outset, I would like to thank all my colleagues for having participated in this deliberation today and having extended their support to the Bill that is under discussion today.
As rightly pointed out by some of my colleagues here, the participation of the Governor in many Central Universities in such States where the Central Universities have been established, has been continuing. But in the State of Mizoram, as it was not there, it was intended to ensure that the Governor has a very important role to play. I would also like to briefly outline the few reasons why the role of the Governor was sought to be included in the functioning of the Mizoram University.
Though the Chief Rector does not have a direct role to play in the functioning of the Central University excepting nominating certain Members to the Court of the University, he plays a very important and vital role in extending his advice to the University specially in such situations where his advice, as a very experienced person, is sought. In such matters of crucial importance where issues are very sensitive, his advice is very important, and that is exactly why the role of the Governor is very important in the functioning of a Central University.
Further, Sir, the Departmentally-Related Standing Committee on Human Resource Development also, in its Report on the Manipur University Bill, 2005, observed that the Governor should have a very important role to play in the Central Universities, which are located specially in the border areas; and the Governor being an important link between the Union Government and the State Governments, it was thought essential that his role be made vital and mandatory in these Universities.
It is, therefore, proposed that the Governor of Mizoram also as the Chief Rector of Mizoram should be playing a very important role, and that is the reason why the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill has been brought forward to this august House today.
Let me answer some of the apprehensions that the hon. Members have expressed here. Shri Tapir Gao was very apprehensive about the support given to the North-Eastern Region. Here, I would like to say that presently, there are 21 Central Universities functioning in various parts of the county, of which seven are located in the North-Eastern Region itself. Besides this, the Parliament has also passed three more Acts for conversion into Central Universities, out of which even the Tripura State University is one. Further, he also raised the issue about the Departments. Here, I would like to say that at present, there are 20 Postgraduate and 19 Undergraduate Departments. However, establishing all these faculties is a decision that the University Authorities would have to take. The UGC/Central Government cannot take a decision without the initiative of the University. However, the Faculty of the Technology and the Faculty of the Management are being started with additional support given to them.
Coming to the apprehensions raised by Dr. Thokchom Meinya about the delay in the appointment of the First Registrar and the First Finance Officer of the Manipur University, the reason is that the University forwarded only one name each to the Visitor. Therefore, the revised proposal has, now, been forwarded after it was sought for. Now, the decision would be taken by the Visitor.
Coming to the apprehensions of Shri Mani Charenameri, during the 10th Plan, the Mizoram University has been allocated Rs. 76 crore under plan for development; and another Rs. 37.52 crore under non-plan for maintenance.[r22]
During the Eleventh Plan, however, the University is free now to submit proposals to the UGC and to the Union Government also for increased allocation and this would duly be considered. Many of the Members have raised the issue of starting Central Universities in their States. But, however, the present policy of the Government has been to consolidate and expand the facilities in the already existing Central Universities rather than very sparsely and thinly spreading the resources and not being able to support the university very well in its full capacity. Therefore, the possibilities of setting up new Central Universities in other disadvantaged regions, however, could be explored during the Eleventh Plan period. However, at the recent State Education Ministers’ Conference, it was resolved that during the Eleventh Plan period, one State University in such States where the Central Universities do not exist, would be funded to the level of a Central University.
I think with these, I have answered all the apprehensions that have been raised by my colleagues, and I seek the support in passing this Bill.
सभापति महोदय : मैं समझता हूं कि अब विधेयक को पास करने की कार्यवाही की जाए।
“That the Bill to amend the Mizoram University Act, 2000, as passed by Rajya Sabha be taken into consideration.”
The motion was adopted.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The House will now take up clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill.
“That clause 2 stand part of the Bill.”
The motion was adopted.
Clause 2 was added to the Bill.
Clause 1, the Enacting Formula and the Long Title were added to the Bill.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The Minister may now move that the Bill be passed.
“That the Bill be passed.”
“That the Bill be passed.”
The motion was adopted.