Grounded before takeoff
In LC NC-Cong Oppose New Varsities, Bills Sent To Joint Select Committee
Srinagar, Oct 11: The setting up of Transworld Muslim University and Sheikh-ul-Alam Research University in Kashmir hit the first roadblock on Monday with members of the ruling alliance National Conference and Congress in the strongly opposing the move in the Upper House.
Following an extended debate in the Legislative Council, the bills for setting up the three varsities, TWIU, SRU, in Kashmir and Guru Nanak Khalsa University in Jammu were referred to a Joint Select Committee and asked to report back to House within two months. The bills were passed by the Lower House (Legislative Assembly) on Saturday.
Soon after the private member bill regarding the setting up of Transworld Islamic University, to be established in central Kashmir’s district Budgam by Jamiat-e-Ahlihadith, was tabled in the Council, many Congress and NC members demanded vehemently that it should be sent to the JSC as it has some “lacunae” and the varsity involves a particular religious organization.
Congress MLC, Bashir Ahmad Margay was the first to raise objection. “It is a sensitive issue and involves a particular religious community. We received the bill only today and are yet to go through it. The House should not pass it in a huff and instead send it to the Joint Select Committee to study the lacunae,” he insisted.
He was seconded by National Conference MLC, Ajay Sadhotra, saying there were already many universities functioning in Jammu and Kashmir. “The issue should be given a serious thought before the bill is passed,” he said.
“We should consider the matter carefully. There are many Madrassas functional in the state. We need to see what kind of education these universities are going provide to students,” said National Conference legislator, Ghulam Rasool Sheikh.
He said there was an Islamic University already functional in the Valley. “But the authorities have not allowed to construct a mosque there,” he said.
The Lower House had unanimously passed all the three bills following a lengthy discussion on the last day of Assembly on October 9. They had already gone to a select committee before LA approved setting up of the varsities.
However, National Conference MLC, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy supported construction of the University, saying the bill had already gone to a Select Committee before it was tabled in the Legislative Assembly last week.
Suharwardy said the Jamiat-e-Ahlihadith, which has to set up the University, had already started work in this regard.
“The organization has the funds and it has renowned scholars. We should not create hurdles for the varsity’s construction. Instead the bill should be passed,” he argued.
Another NC legislator Ghulam Qadir Pardesi also supported the construction of the Varsity.
Minister for Medical Education R S Chib too spoke over the bill. The government had lobbied hard to get two Central Universities for the State but it is yet to appoint a VC for Jammu University, he said. “The TWMU involves a religious community. In my opinion, the bill should be referred to joint-select committee and we should wait for its report.”
However, he quickly added that he was not speaking over the issue on behalf of the government but as the member of council.
Responding to the debate, Minister for Higher Education, Abdul Gani Malik, argued it would be appropriate to send all the three bills to the JSC.
The House agreed to the ministers’ statement and all the three bills were referred to the Joint Select Committee.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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