The State Cabinet of Maharashtra decided to shortlist vice-chancellor candidates by clearing amendments to the Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016. The state will receive five nominees selected by the panel and choose two and send them to the governor, the chancellor of universities to finally pick the candidates.
The Higher education minister will be the pro-chancellor of all state public universities and will now be only from a government or an aided college in order to avoid the political interference of the chancellor.
Until now, the selection was free of government interference and the search panel was headed by a governor’s nominee, a member recommended by the management council and the other by the academic council. Applications were invited and shortlisted aspirants were interviewed and five names were sent to the chancellor who picked one in the end.
These recommendations were made by an expert panel headed by the former chairman of UGC which was formed to suggest changes in the Act for effective implementation of NEP.
An Educationist condemned the decision and stated that this was an unwarranted attack on the autonomy of academics. He also stated that higher education must be autonomous and away from politics.