Orissa HC Dismisses PILs Challenging Amendments To Universities Act; Check Details

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday dismissed three PILs challenging the Orissa Universities (Amendment) Act 2020. Under the Act notified on November 9, 2020, all universities in the state have come under one law.

The petitions alleged that the amendments violated regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and encroached upon the state universities’ autonomy when it comes to recruitment of teaching staff like professors, associate professors and assistant professors, which will now be done by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC).

Dismissing the petitions, a division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice A K Mohapatra said the UGC Regulations 2018 were not binding on the Odisha government and at best can serve as a directory for state universities.

The petitions were filed by Utkal University Professor Kunja Bihari Panda, former JNU Professor Ajit Kumar Mohanty and Biswabasu Dash from the All India Save Education Committee.

The HC accepted the contention of the state government that the amendments does not dilute the minimum standards set out in the UGC Regulations 2018 for appointment of VC.

The amendments had been opposed by educationists and Opposition parties, who had demanded a complete withdrawal of the new law.

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