The Maharashtra government is set to make voter registration mandatory for students above the age of 18 in the state, news agency PTI reported. The development comes from Maharashtra State Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil, who was quoted as saying PTI at the meeting of vice-chancellors of non-agricultural universities at Raj Bhavan on Thursday.
The state official has also said that following the mandate of the NEP (National Education Policy), the Maharashtra government will start four-year degree courses from June 2023, and universities across the state will have to implement the move.
“The universities have no option as they will have to implement the four-year degree course from June as mandated under the NEP,” he said, warning that action would be taken against those who failed to do so. Patil was quoted as saying by PTI that the government would soon constitute a committee of retired vice-chancellors to address the concerns of vice-chancellors regarding the implementation of the NEP.
Keeping in mind the dismal percentage of voter registration by students of universities and colleges, “the government will issue a proposal to make it mandatory for students to register themselves as voters to get admission in colleges.” Patil said that against the target of achieving enrollment of 50 lakh students in the higher education system, only 32 lakh students have been enrolled in Maharashtra.
The Minister of State also asked the universities to launch a campaign to increase the enrollment percentage of students in the state. He also stressed on the implementation of the recommendations of NEP (National Education Policy) to provide education and skill development in mother tongue.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who was present in the meeting, emphasized on making the universities “self-reliant” to achieve the goal of “self-reliant India”. Calling upon higher educational institutions to effectively implement the NEP’s recommendations, PTI quoted the state governor as saying, “Many private universities are doing well through self-finance and distance education programmes.”
The Governor emphasized the importance of NEP in the context of trying to blend culture and Indian knowledge system. He also urged the Vice-Chancellors to form small advisory committees consisting of dedicated professionals to assist in the seamless integration of NEP in the universities. He also said that he would hold a follow-up meeting with the Vice Chancellors within the next six months to look into the developments in this regard.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who was also present in the meeting, affirmed that the state would prepare the NEP in the best possible manner. Chief Minister Shinde said, “The state government has decided to make suitable amendments in the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 to make the selection process of Vice Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor in line with the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC).” Quoting PTI. He also stressed on the formation of new search committees for the selection of Vice Chancellors at the earliest to speed up the selection process of Vice Chancellors.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was also present in the meeting, expressed strong concern over the poor performance of universities in key areas like timely declaration of results. He called upon the Vice-Chancellors to take corrective measures to remove this shortcoming at the earliest. Emphasizing on the need for a robust digital system to ensure effective implementation of NEP, he also called upon the VCs to create a ‘live dashboard’ to report developments on the 17 identified outcome areas to closely monitor the situation. Insisted. informed of.
In the meeting, Fadnavis also stressed on the importance of transparency by educational institutions. He said that the colleges should publish the observations and findings of their inspection teams on their website. He further said that the efforts to achieve high gross enrollment in the state have been effective, but this should not distract the attention of the universities from bringing excellence in education. However, he expressed concern over the low percentage of voter registration among college students.
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