Maharashtra: Voter registration to be made mandatory for students above 18 years looking for college admissions

The government will soon form a committee of retired vice-chancellors to address the concerns of vice-chancellors over the implementation of the NEP, said Patil
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)

On Thursday, November 24, the State Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil said that the Maharastra government will make voter registrations compulsory for students above 18 years of age for getting admission to colleges. This announcement was made when the minister was speaking at a meeting of vice-chancellors of non-agriculture universities at the Raj Bhavan. 

Further, he said that the government will introduce four-year degree courses from June 2023 as mandated under the National Education Policy (NEP) and the universities will have to implement the decision. "There is no option for universities as they will have to implement the four-year degree courses from June as mandated under the NEP," he said, warning that action will be taken against those failing to do so.

A committee of retired vice-chancellors will be formed by the government to address the concerns of vice-chancellors over the implementation of the NEP, Patil said. Considering the dismal percentage of voter registration by students of universities and colleges, he said "The government will issue a resolution mandating students to get their voter registration done for getting admission to colleges."

Giving more details, Patil said, Maharashtra has an enrollment of only 32 lakh students which is as against the goal of attaining the enrollment of 50 lakh students in the higher education system. Also, the minister called upon universities to run a campaign to improve the enrollment percentage. There was a need to take into cognisance the recommendations of NEP regarding providing education in the mother tongue and skill development, he added, as stated in a report by PTI. 

State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari cited universities to be 'aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant) to attain the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and said, "Many private universities are doing well through self-finance and distance education programmes." Further, he said he would hold a follow-up meeting of vice-chancellors within six months to discuss what steps were taken on the issues agreed upon in the meeting.

Similarly, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who was present on the occasion, asserted  "The state government has decided to make suitable amendments in the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 to make the selection process of vice-chancellors and pro-vice chancellors in sync with the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC)," he said.

Expressing strong displeasure over the poor performance of some of the universities in key result areas, such as the declaration of results of various examinations on time, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the vice-chancellors to take note of the lacunae and take corrective steps quickly. Further, expressing the need for bringing a robust digital system to make the implementation of NEP effective, Fadnavis called for creating a live dashboard to report the 17 key result areas of the vice-chancellors to monitor the situation from time to time, as stated in a report by PTI.

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