University Laws (Amendment) Bill

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    • Recently, the Kerala Assembly passed the University Laws (Amendment) Bill 2022 which alters the composition of the search-cum-selection committee to appoint Vice Chancellors and effectively provide the State government greater leverage in the process. 

    About the amendments in the Bill 

    • Changes in the appointment process 
      • It proposes changes in the appointment process of vice-chancellors in state universities.
    • Selection committee 
      • The bill was passed with a key amendment brought in by the government to replace the earlier clause that the vice-chairman of the state higher education council would be a member of the VC selection committee and also its convener. 
      • Now, a nominee of the government and an academic nominated by the higher education council vice-chairman will now be part of the panel. 
    • Age Limit
      • The maximum age limit of a person to be appointed as vice chancellor has been raised to 65 from 60 years as per the new bill.

    Arguments in Favour

    • No rights of the chancellor are being curtailed through the amendments.
    • The amendment was brought in to avoid legal tangles in future.
    • Only the number of members in the selection-cum-search committee has been increased.
    • The Higher Education Council vice chairman would not be a member of the search committee as pointed out by the opposition but only his nominee. 

    Arguments against

    • Amendments were made to facilitate appointment of people close to the ruling front. 
    • This will lead to a scenario in which the governor can appoint only those who are close to the government. 

    Source: TH