The Himachal Pradesh CPM has expressed shock and deep anguish at the judgement of the Himachal Pradesh High Court that has dissolved the Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission set up over the private institutions of the state and has termed it as unfortunate.

Senior party leader and Shimla MC, deputy mayor, Tikender Singh Panwar, in his press communiqué, stated that it’ll have wide spread horrendous implications over the higher education in private sector and will put a big question mark at the credibility of the entire education system functioning in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Panwar added that it’s indeed surprising to note that just recently the union HRD secretary in a function had openly admired the state regulatory body and had advised other states to set up similar bodies as well to follow the guidelines. The CPM has termed the decision as the recipe for disaster in the offing in the specter of higher education in the state. Panwar stated

There are no hidden facts that how the private institutions and especially the private universities in blatant violation of the norms, with UGC in no position to enforce them, have denigrated the entire system of higher education. There have been cases where the three important components of higher learning i.e , the faculty, admission procedure and fees structure has been kept at bay and these universities are being run at the whims and fancies of the individual owners who have placed themselves either as pro chancellors or even chancellors.

Tikender has put a question mark at the judgment of the High court that has failed to take the UGC to task which is the pivotal body to ensure that fair method is utilised to ensure that quality of education is maintained. Tikender believed that

Now with this judgment there will be no mechanism left to regulate the private universities and it could lead to a free for all situations as was the case before the commission was set up. Students were admitted after class X in open defiance of the UGC norms and Private Universities Act and admissions of ineligible students continued throughout the year through the back door. The government cannot be reduced to a facilitator for sale of fake degrees

The degrees would be virtually left to no check ups and there will be no mechanism to ensure that the norms are fulfilled. The UGC too should have been asked to explain its position which is not only toothless but also has no clause for punishment in case there is a gross violation over the three important ingredients of higher education.

The CPM leader has asked the state government to take the issue seriously and has suggested that since there is no control over these private universities they should be scrapped and the acts by which they have come into being should be dissolved immediately. All the private universities acts should be put to rest so that the core reason of their running i.e, to mint money is not allowed.

The Shimla MC deputy Mayor has advised the Congress led state government to take up the matter with the UPA government at the centre to bring an ordinance to empower the states to set up regulatory commission to enforce UGC norms and to protect the innocent students from exploitations by private institutions which were only interested in making money. It was essential to offset the disastrous impact of present judgement. The ordinance should be very explicit explaining the importance of these regulatory bodies and the need for having them in the states.

Tikender Singh Panwar has called upon the people, particularly the students and teacher bodies, to build pressure on government to bring an ordinance to nullify the impact of the judicial order and save the higher education from being ruined. It is not a hidden fact that a good chunk of these private universities are just a veneer to cover the real estate mafia which is bent to acquire land in the state which otherwise is very difficult owing to the stringent conditions of land reforms and tenancy act.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.