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Odisha Universities Act amended, Cabinet enhances tenure & upper age limit of VCs

Bhubaneswar: In a major development, the State Cabinet has approved promulgation of ‘The Odisha Universities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020’ to amend the Odisha Universities Act, 1989 and repeal the Ravenshaw University Act, 2005.

The idea behind such a move is reportedly to bring all Universities under one Act – Odisha Universities Act, 1989.

The important amendments of OUA, 1989 approved by the Cabinet are as follows:

The concept of Senate shall be done away with, and Syndicate will function as the highest authority of a university henceforth. Constitution of the Syndicate will be restructured to make it more functional and professional.

The tenure of Vice-Chancellors shall be enhanced from 3 years to 4 years so that they can make some long-term contribution to the varsity.

The upper age limit to hold the post of Vice-Chancellor, which is currently 65 years, shall be enhanced to 67 years.

This apart, no Vice-Chancellor shall be re-appointed as VC of the same university for the second time.

As per reports, an academician will now be a member of the search committee for selection of VCs.

Now that the State Government does not have a say in the 3-member Search Committee, constituted by the Chancellor for selection of Vice-Chancellors, an eminent academician nominated by the State Government shall be made a member of the Search Committee in place of the nominee of the Syndicate of the University concerned, the Cabinet approved.

There should be an end to the concepts of ‘Registered Teachers’ and ‘Registered Graduates’ as they have become obsolete.

Recruitment of teachers in the Universities shall be done centrally by the Odisha Public Service Commission to avoid collective wastage of time and resources.

On the other hand, the recruitment of non-teaching employees in the Universities shall be done centrally by the State Selection Board to avoid collective wastage of time and resources.

The Cabinet also noted that provision of laying annual audit reports of all Universities in the Odisha Legislative Assembly should be abolished. Instead, the annual audit reports shall be made available in the University website for at least three years for information of all concerned.

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