Self-financing colleges to challenge latest Kerala govt ordinance

High Court

Thiruvananthapuram: The management bodies of self-financing colleges are upset over a few provisions of a Kerala government ordinance that was notified on February 20. They are set to challenge in the Kerala High Court clauses that apparently curb its autonomy, especially regarding the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff.

The ordinance envisages that appointments can be made only in the manner stipulated by the regulatory body. For engineering colleges, the directives of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) should be followed. Such stipulations would be a hassle when the management bodies find the best teachers. Several vacancies may arise in self-financing colleges for various reasons. It is not practical to issue notification and carry out recruitment each time.

The management bodies alleged that there are several other flaws in the ordinance as it was framed without consulting them.

Though the law is applicable to all self-financing colleges affiliated to the universities in Kerala, the ones under the health university were exempted. This has been termed as discriminatory.

Other major issues cited in the ordinance by the authorities of self-financing colleges are:

• The authority of the management bodies to take disciplinary action against the employees has been curtailed. Those, facing disciplinary action can now give appeal to the university and its syndicate and their decision would be final. If the disciplinary action has been taken, the appeal should be given to the university appellate tribunal. An appeal can also be filed at the High Court against the decision of the tribunal, presided over by a district judge.

• As per the ordinance the regulatory body takes over the administration of the college from the agency that runs it.

• In addition to the University Grants Commission (UG) and the AICTE, the university has also been included as the regulatory body as per the ordinance. As per this, the university can bring in all the regulations.

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