No Anti-national Activity, 50% Fee Concession to Poor: Yogi Govt Tightens Grip on Private Universities

The draft of a new ordinance cleared by Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet on Tuesday mandates new and existing private universities in Uttar Pradesh to submit an undertaking that their campuses will not be allowed to be a place of “anti-national activities in any way”.

The ordinance says that universities will have to abide by the promise they had made during their foundation as per the law, that is, to 'preserve the secular, democratic fabric and aspire for universal brotherhood and tolerance’.

All private universities in UP, including the 27 existing ones, would come under this one common law as per the new ordinance that is being introduced to “remove anomalies” in the functioning of private universities in the state.

Under the new provisions, that are part of the conditions laid down by the Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Ordinance, 2019, private universities will also have to abide by the academic calendar as established by various controlling bodies.

Ordinance is aimed at “improving functioning and academic standard of these universities.”

The varsities will also have to ensure admission to specific number of students from poor communities on 50 percent fee and keep 75 percent faculty as permanent employees. In cases of anomalies, the state’s higher education council will now be empowered to probe the matter.

These provisions are bound to give the state government more power to keep a check on the financial and academic activities of private universities. They are being seen as an attempt to regularise the functioning of the private universities, to bring them under the government watch.