Mumbai: The passage of Private Universities
Bill by the Maharashtra legislature last month has evoked
adverse reaction from the students` associations.
At a recent conference at the Mumbai University, the
students as well the associations opposed the bill, saying
that it was passed in a ‘hurry’ (during the ruckus in the
House over to Maval police firing).
The bill allows setting up of self-financed private
But the conference deliberated on the lack of provision
for reservations, absence of fee regulation and redress
mechanism, and the free hand given to founders in appointing
"Government passed the bill in a hurry. This shows that
it has a lot to hide. There is no provision for participation
of students, like in the Maharashtra Universities Act through
the senate," said Varadraj Bapat, faculty member-IIT-Bombay
and vice president of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
He also said there was only a vague mention of
affirmative action. Secondly, there was no regulation of fees.
The Supreme Court had allowed private institutions to fix
their fees, but had also called for a comprehensive fee
regulation act, which was pending in Maharashtra, he said.
The conference had been organised by the SC, ST, OBC
Students and Teachers` Association.
Sainath Durge of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena students
wing called for an action committee to oppose the bill.
"The bill looks at education as a private industry and a
business," he alleged.
Political parties too have taken exception to absence of
provision for reservations in the bill.