All private universities in Uttar Pradesh will now have to give an undertaking to the government, saying that their campuses will not be allowed to be used for “any anti-national activity”, a new ordinance says.
The draft of a new ordinance, which will pave the way for an umbrella act, was approved by Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet on Tuesday. It says that universities will have to abide by the promise they had made during their foundation as per the law, that is to “preserve the secular, democratic fabric and aspire for universal brotherhood and tolerance”.
The ordinance will now be presented in the state Assembly in the session beginning from July 18.
All private universities in the state, including the 27 existing ones, would come under this common law as per the new ordinance that is being introduced to remove anomalies’ in the functioning of private universities in the state.
Under the new provisions, that are part of the conditions laid down by the Uttar Pradesh Private Universities Ordinance, 2019, private universities will also have to abide by the academic calendar as established by various controlling bodies.
The ordinance is aimed at “improving functioning and academic standard of these universities”.
The varsities will have to ensure admission to specific number of students from poor communities on 50 per cent fee and keep 75 per cent faculty as permanent employees. In cases of anomalies, the state’s higher education council will now be empowered to probe the matter.
These provisions will give the state government more power to keep a check on the financial and academic activities of private universities. It is being seen as an attempt to regularise the functioning of the private universities and to bring them under the government scanner.
The ordinance also states that “universities will not be allowed to bestow an honorary degree without prior approval of the state government”.
The appointment of Vice-Chancellor can be done by the Chancellor only after consultation with the governing body.
“It has been proposed in the ordinance that ‘land for the university cannot be sold, transferred or leased though it can be mortgaged to a bank or financial institution for establishment of the university,” the ordinance says.
According to the ordinance, the State Higher Education Council will now be the nodal agency that will oversee compliance of the ordinance and rules. It empowers the council to file reports with the government for action if it is unable to get information from any private university within a specified period of time.
The council, as per the ordinance, will inspect a university at least once a year to monitor the quality of education and its compliance with rules, and submit an annual report on its working. If any violation comes to light, the state government will issue appropriate instruction which will be mandatory for the university to follow. (IANS)
Facebook’s Chairman Mark Zuckerberg had dropped a bombshell on the “secularists” in India during PM Modi’s visit to his campus in California. It’s all about the Facebook connection with India. Initially, it was never a bed of roses for what is now a household name “FACEBOOK” across the world. This world-famous ‘social networking service company’ had its own share of bad times. Revealing for the first time in the meeting at the Facebook office upbeat Zuckerberg told PM Narendra Modi that Steve Jobs, the founder Chairman of Apple, had advised him to visit a certain temple in India for blessings. The revelation may have caused heartburn to many. More so in India where so-called secular and snooty folks have long acquired a proclivity to look down upon their own culture, religion, and values while being appreciative of any bizarre customs and styles of the West. Yes, heeding the advice of his mentor Steve Jobs the depressed Mark had visited the temple and toured around India for nearly a month.
Well, the American techno-wizard Steve Jobs had himself spent over six months in India in 1974. He was here in quest of the higher meaning of life and spiritual solace. As understood, from early age Steve was quite haunted by a good deal of unanswered questions. Of course, his encounter with a book “Be Here Now”by Richard Alpert, a Harvard Professor, had opened up a gateway to the spiritualism of the East. This book had also introduced him to a mystic Yogi ‘Neem Karoli Baba’. That later inspired Steve to set out the journey for the East. As soon as Steve and his friend Daniel Kottke arrived India they directly went to meet the Guru in Kainchi Dham Ashram in Nainital. But to their disappointment, they found the Baba had already passed away some months earlier. Nevertheless, the urge to dive deeper into the spiritualism did not die away. They shaved their heads and put on Indian clothes and undertook an extensive meditation and yogic practices.
The most significant impact that had made upon Steve’s life was a book “Autobiography of a Yogi”by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is on record that he would read this book too frequently, at least once every year until his death, 2011. This book had given him the practical insight into what exactly this world is about and how a layman can prepare himself to realize the Supreme knowledge. The first-hand account of a Yogi with empirical approaches to know oneself this book by Yogananda is a smash hit manual now among the seekers of the Eastern spiritualism.
Yes, by dint of hard work, intuition and innovation Steve stood out as one of the most successful techno-tycoons of the modern times. As much known, Jobs was hardly possessed by the luxury of riches and materialistic vanity. He just regarded his entrepreneurship as a tool to awaken his dormant potentialities. The chairman of Salesforce.com and famous philanthropist Marc Benioff says with conviction — “If you want to understand Steve, it’s a good idea to dig into ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’.” It is this book which Steve’s family had given to all the guests as a last gift at his memorial service.
Here we can’t afford to ignore the Beatle’s fascination for INDIA as well. The band members that were basking in the opulence of materialistic riches and glory visited India (Rishikesh) in search of inner peace. They met with Sri Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and learnt from him Transcendental meditation (TM) who laid bare methods to feel true bliss within. Sri Maharshi is a big name in the West having a huge following that includes celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, David Lynch, Russell Brand, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Aniston, Modern physicist Dr. John Hagelin, to name a few. The Beatle’s Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr often assist a Hollywood Director/actor David Lynch to organize the Transcendental meditation under ‘David Lynch Foundation’ across USA and the European countries. George Harrison later took refuge in Bhakti Yoga. The founder of ISKCON Srila Prabhupada showed him the pathway to the Supreme Consciousness.
What basically pulls the rational westerners to India is less known to Indians themselves. It’s shamefully paradoxical. From early 19th Century, the philosophical literary treasure troves and Yoga of India found more admirers in the foreign lands than at home. Indeed, the philosophy of the “laws of karma” and the presence of all-power-divinity within every being and everywhere — which any human being can realize irrespective of one’s caste, creed, nationality, and color, has intensely stirred the greatest of the great minds of the West. The ancient texts hold out a whole bunch of keys to unlock oneself and know his/her relationship with the Supreme Being which in fact seems very reasonable to the West. Further, the complex studies of world-view by Modern scientists are gradually arriving at the same conclusion what the ancient sages of India expounded over five thousands year back that ‘creation and creator are ONE’.Interconnection, inter-relation and interdependence among every individual particle/object, living or non-living, in the infinite universe — which is the fundamental tenets of the Eastern philosophy, provided a new light of wisdom to the the modern physicists like Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Julius Oppenheimer, Brain David Josephson, David Bohm, John Stewart Bell et al.
Well, Indian’s contribution to the western academia is immeasurable — though deliberately undermined or less discussed in India itself. It’s very worthwhile to recall a famous proclamation by our western master whom we hold in the highest esteem. TS Eliot, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, asserts: “Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys”.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali.