Pradhan opposes Odisha Universities (Amendment) Ordinance

Bhubaneswar: Opposing an ordinance passed by the Odisha government to amend the Odisha Universities Act, 1989, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday sought the intervention of Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to safeguard the interest of students, faculties and staff.  

In a letter to the Union Education Minister, Pradhan said the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 is in contrary to the vision of Prime Minister enshrined in the National Education Policy, 2020 to promote the autonomy of academic institutions to pursue excellence in teaching and research.

He said that the changes promulgated by the state are not harmony with the Central government policies.

Pradhan said the amendment has come under severe criticism from the state’s academic community due to the drastic and regressive changes.

Quoting a representation submitted to him by academicians, the Minister said the amendment has stripped the universities of their autonomy by bringing those under Higher Education department.

He said the amendments made to the Odisha Universities Act, 1989, are in contradiction with extant practices in other states.

Going by the Supreme Court judgment in the Osmania University Teachers’ Union case against Andhra Pradesh government, the ordinance is liable to be struck down by the court, Pradhan said.