With important bills on self-financed universities and curbing bogus institutions not on the agenda of the winter session of assembly, key education reforms in the state are likely to be delayed further.
Maharashtra Self-Financed Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2011, which regulates setting up of private varsities, was passed in the monsoon session of the legislature in August 2011.
However, governor K Sankaranarayanan recently sent it back following opposition by many leaders who said the bill does not have a provision for social/caste reservations. The Act proposes special provisions for weaker sections of society, including women, the poor and low-income groups.
“It is not there on the agenda. We are looking at models followed in other states that have enacted laws to allow self-financed universities. For instance, one law does not mandate reservations, while another calls for constitutional reservation and a third reserving seats based on economic condition. Discussions are on and we will come to a decision by yearend. Accordingly, necessary amendment will have to be made,” said minister of state for higher and technical education D P Sawant.
The other, unauthorised institutions, bill was revised to include all departments related to education, including medical, agriculture, dairy, fisheries and social welfare.
It calls for checking bogus or unapproved institutes. It will empower the state to punish erring institutes. The penalty could include a fine, closure and imprisonment.
Maharashtra Self-Financed Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2011
Maharashtra Unauthorised Institutes Bill