In an attempt to provide accessible quality medical education, the Uttarakhand government has decided to go ahead with the formulation of a new law that will uniformly govern all private and state-run universities and medical colleges, and will also do away all administrative hurdles that create blockages in the smooth functioning of processes. It is also being introduced to provide equal opportunity to the weaker students opting for medical studies in the country and keep a check on fee hikes in all private universities and colleges.
The decision to devise a new law was taken in view of the administrative difficulties faced due to separate laws governing private-run universities and medical colleges and state universities as well as medical colleges.
“It will be a kind of umbrella act, which will uniformly govern all private and state universities and medical colleges. The idea is to ensure that quality higher education is also easily accessible to students from the poor sections of the society,” Ranjit Kumar Sinha, Additional Secretary, Higher Education, told HT.
“Such (administrative) hurdles kept the quality education away from the reach of the students from the poor sections of the society,” he said. The proposed law will replace the Uttar Pradesh University Act, 1973, which has been in force since Uttarakhand’s came into existence in 2000.
“It will be replaced with the Uttarakhand University Act after the proposed law will be passed in the assembly,” the Additional Secretary stated.
According to information, the proposed new law will ensure that private universities abstain from increasing their fee exorbitantly. Citing an example, Mr. Sinha spoke of a private medical college that charges Rs. 12 lakh per annum.
“Even the highest paid government officers can’t afford to pay such an exorbitant fee for their wards,” he said. According to him, the fee structure would not be left to the discretion of private managements anymore, with the enactment of the new law.
“We will also ensure that state universities and medical colleges have infrastructural facilities so that students can access quality education,” Sinha stated. He also revealed that efforts were on to create a fund. “The budget will be arranged through international donor agencies,” he stated with a mention of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. “A proposal was submitted to the planning department, which is awaiting its clearance.”