Published On: Sat, Mar 13th, 2010

Azim Premji University cleared by Karnataka legislature

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The Azim Premji University has become a reality with the Karnataka Legislative Council passing the Azim Premji University Bill, 2010 to allow the first private varsity to come up in the state.

The State Assembly passed the amended Bill by voice vote. Opposition members belonging to the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) voiced concern over the private university’s functioning without regulatory mechanism, government control over its fee structure, and guidelines to supervise it.

Allaying the apprehensions of the opposition, state Higher Education Minister Aravind Limbavali said the Bill was introduced after it was evaluated extensively and verified with the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.

“In accordance with the provisions of the Bill, the State Governor has the authority to seek any file from the private university and the state government can intervene in the event of any malpractice or dispute,” Limbavali told the lawmakers.

Assuring the house that the proposed university promoted by Wipro Chief Azim Premji would reserve 25 per cent of seats for students and teaching faculty from the state, Limbavali said the institution would provide training in conformity with global standards.

“We have studied the functioning of 58 private universities across the country before drafting the Bill. For instance, the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore and the Law University in Haryana have independent Chancellors,” Limbavali noted.

The Azim Premji Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation managed by Premji, had approached the state government last year to set up the university to provide training, research and development in various disciplines, including elementary education, secondary education and education management.

Through this university, the foundation plans to develop resource centres in various states across the country and overseas to contribute to quality education. It also plans to start campuses and study centers at various locations in India and abroad.