New Bill to regulate private universities in Meghalaya introduced

SHILLONG, Sept 6: Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui on Friday introduced the Meghalaya Private University Regulatory of Establishment and Maintenance of Standard Bill, 2019 which will provide for regulation of private universities in the state.

The Meghalaya Private University Regulatory of Establishment and Maintenance of Standard Bill, 2019 introduced on the opening day of the Autumn session of the Assembly replaces the Meghalaya Private University Regulatory of Establishment and Maintenance of Standard Act, 2012.

According to the Bill, it will ensure conformity with the observations of the Supreme Court in Prof. Yashpal versus State of Chhattisgarh and others.

As per the statement of objects and intents the provisions of this bill is for regulating the private universities established under the acts of the state government and also other private universities offering courses in India in collaboration with foreign universities, formal and non-formal or distance education made by such private universities to ensure that these maintain the standard of infrastructures, teaching, research, examination and extension and services, fee structure, safeguarding the interest of the state as a whole and in particular of the student community.

The Bill also has provisions for constitution of Meghalaya Higher Education Council.

As per section 10 of the Bill the purpose of this council is to assist the government on the matters of policy relating to development of higher education in Meghalaya enacted under the Meghalaya Higher Education Council Act, 2018 (Act No. 3 of 2018).

The Bill also stipulates for constitution of a regulatory board.

As per Section 11 of the Bill the state government shall constitute a regulatory board consisting of a chairman and three members to be nominated by the state government from eminent educationists of repute or eminent persons with the vast administrative experience.

The terms of reference of the board are, to periodically inspect all private universities which have been set up in Meghalaya including study centre, to requisition any specific information from the institutions, to call for reports from Directorate of Higher and Technical Education or directly from the Registrar of the concerned university which may be of academic nature and otherwise.

The other terms of reference of the Bill are, to ensure that quality education is imparted by these institutions as per the guidelines of the UGC or any statutory body/regulatory body under the control of the government.

The regulatory board shall also submit annual reports in respect of the private universities including those universities having off campus centre/study centre/regional centre etc functioning in the state. Such reports shall make specific recommendations for action/s to be taken by the government including imposition of penalty as provided for any violation of relevant provisions laid down by the government.

The regulatory board shall bring any important development in respect of any private university as it arises, to the notice of the government.

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