Chandigarh/Jalandhar: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has categorically denied overruling the recommendations of the Advocate General(on right in pic) to set up a regulator for the universities in the state, saying the move was in line with the legal advice given by the AG and was aimed at strengthening the higher education system.
Contrary to what has been claimed in a report appearing in a section of the media, Advocate General Atul Nanda has clearly and unequivocally recommended enactment of a legislation by the state to provide for a State Regulator for the universities, said amarinder, in a statement here on Thursday. There was no "overruling” of the AG, nor was there any "opposition from within”, as suggested by the media report, he stated emphatically.
The shocking disregard shown by the media to the facts was highly condemnable, said the CM, pointing out that the media report in question itself has quoted the concerned minister as saying that the "the government has decided to go ahead with the proposal.” This statement clearly indicated that the proposal by the AG favoured setting up the regulator, he added.
The AG, in his report to the Chief Minister, has clearly recommended that "the State may enact legislation providing for a State Regulator” with care being taken that there is no conflict with the powers and functions of institutions constituted under Central enactments. How this can be construed to mean that the AG was not in favour of a regulator for universities was unfathomable, said Captain, urging the media to be more careful and responsible in its reportage.
The growing tendency of the media to distort and misrepresent facts, and in some cases to falsify them completely in a bid to sensationalise their stories, was a matter of concern, he said. As the fourth pillar of democracy, the media is accountable to the people and should do justice to the role it is expected to play, he added.
The Chief Minister said, as suggested by the AG, a regulatory for universities was essential to protect the interests of the students and to ensure that higher education institutions are not managed and operated like teaching shops.
Lack of accountability in matters of admissions, fee structure, number of seats, quality of teaching staff and research standards were serious ills afflicting the universities and needed to be addressed if the students were to be provided quality education to make them employable and successful in life, he stressed.
Later, speaking in Jalandhar, he made it clear that the government did not intend to interfere in any way in the higher education institutions and universities but only wanted to ensure that quality education is provide to students to make them better employable with higher income generation.
There are several deemed universities and private institutions in the state which do not find favour with corporates in terms of campus placement, necessitating steps to upgrade their educational standards, he added.