May 11th, 2012
Update: Following is an excerpt from a PTI report in Zeenews.
A bill which seeks to provide for establishment of universities focussed on innovation and research was introduced in Parliament on Monday.
The Universities for Research and Innovation Bill, 2012 was tabled in the Lok Sabha by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.
The Bill seeks to set up the universities both in the public as well as the private sectors.
Each university on research and innovation would provide for the knowledge and economic needs of the country by creating professionals, specialists, scientists and researchers and generate new knowledge to support the national innovation system.
According to the provisions of the Bill, each of these universities would offer exposure to an international classroom environment, with a minimum of 50 per cent of the students being Indian.
The hallmark of the legislation is that each university would focus on one area or problem of significance to India and build an eco-system of research and training around different related disciplines.
These universities would have autonomy in matters of academics, faculty, personnel and finances administration.
The President would be the visitor of the publicly funded universities.
The Bill, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet early this month, does not specify the target of 14 such universities as was proposed earlier.
Following is from a report by Basant Kumar Mohanty in Telegraph.
The Union cabinet today cleared a proposed “omnibus law” under which central or private theme-based universities can be set up with Parliament’s approval without enacting a separate law for each institution as is the rule now.
The Universities for Research and Innovation Bill, 2012, does not apply to general universities but only to “innovation universities” — those where teaching and research will focus on specific areas such as environment, astrophysics, urban planning or the liberal arts.
Universities are now set up individually through legislation by Parliament or a state’s Assembly. Once Parliament passes the new bill, which could be introduced in the current budget session, innovation universities can be established through an executive order followed by parliamentary approval, which will make the process faster.
It will also allow the establishment of as many theme-based universities as the Centre wants as long as they fulfil the set requirements. They can be set up in the public, private or public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
The government plans to set up a few such universities on its own. The bill allows internationally acclaimed foreign universities with at least 50 years of standing in their countries to collaborate with Indian entities to set up innovation universities.
Private bodies such as registered societies, trusts or companies registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act and foreign institutions will be termed “promoters” and will have to sign a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the government to set up innovation universities, either through collaboration or independently.
The promoter will apply to the government and send a detailed project proposal carrying information such as the vision plan, areas of focus, and how the land and funds will be mobilised.
If the proposal is found acceptable, the government will sign an MoA with the promoter, notify it and place it before Parliament, which will have the right to reject or amend it. The promoter cannot take away the profits from education activities but must plough them back into the institution for its development.
These universities can appoint by invitation anyone with academic distinction and professional achievements as professor or assistant professor. They can also appoint by invitation, as assistant professor, any graduate student with academic distinction and exceptional talent for research.