New varsities move: Government bypassed legal provision


Himalayan News Service

It has been revealed that the government’s move to change Tribhuvan University (TU) constituent colleges into universities has fallen foul of law. TU being an autonomous body, its consent is essential before upgrading colleges under it into universities, but the government has bypassed the legal provision. TU Act 1992 envisions TU as an autonomous body.

The government has come up with two bills to convert Ramsagar Ramswarup Campus, Janakpur, into Rajarshi Janak (RJ) and Mahendra Multiple Campus in Banke into Nepalgunj University. The government is set to present these bills in the upcoming parliament meeting. Similarly, plans are afoot to upgrade Birgunj Campus in Birgunj and Madan Bhandari Technical Institute (MBTI) in Jhapa into universities. Except MBTI, three others are the TU constituent colleges. TU Vice-chancellor Hira Bahadur Maharjan said the government has unilaterally started a plan to establish new universities in the TU constituent colleges. “TU is an autonomous body and our consent is necessary to use any of our properties,” Maharjan told the Post. “But the government has not yet consulted us though it is prepared to present the bills in the parliament to declare new universities.” He also informed that three universities—Far Western (RW), Mid Western (MW) and Agriculture and Forestry (AF) universities— were announced two years ago without TU’s permission.

Ganesh Man Gurung, the chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the body to regulate the universities across the country, echoed Maharjan. He said the government could not use the property of any universities without their approval. However, TU has not filed any complaint regarding the issue.

“TU officials are there just because they were once cadres of the political parties, therefore they don’t dare to go against the political decision,” said educationist Tirtha Khaniya. State Minister for Education Lila Bhandari said she would look into the issue.

TU syllabi in 3 varsities

The Education Ministry has directed the FW, MW and AF universities to teach the TU syllabi but to issue certificates under their names. The letter issued few weeks ago has urged the UGC to coordinate on the matter. According to Gurung, a seven-member committee has been formed to develop modality to implement the directives.

(Source: The Kathmandu Post: News by Binod Ghimire)