Role of the Governor - As the Chancellor of the Universities

The Governor as the Chancellor of the State Funded Universities in Gujarat.
1. Objectives of the Higher Education System :-

The objective of any higher education system should be to make it an instrument both of development and pursuit of the civilisational goals of society. It should be designed for imparting nd other skills so that the youth is able to participate both in the process of social as well as economic development of the society. These goals' have been spelt out in their statements by the famous educationists through the last few decades, by the Education Commission of India and by the eminent visionaries like our former President Dr. Radhakrishnan. These objectives in turn require a system of administration and functioning which has deep penetration and representation of those who understand educational technology and the wider social role of education in the design and functioning of the system at all levels. The system must provide for accountability at all levels. This accountability is towards the stake holders i.e. the students, their families, the users of education and the instruments of civil society.

The second major objective of a good education system is to impart state of art skills so that a progressive society can continue to play its role in the process of developed nation towards a more prosperous and capable society in an environment of competition between nations for the markets and resources. The edict of men, material and money forming the means of production is now changing to mind, man, material and money. The higher educational system in today's competitive world will have to address itself to equipping coming generations of youth to the harness the emerging global opportunities.

2. The Universities :-

Universities are the premier institutions of the higher education system and function as the centers of education, training and research for the youth as well as an infrastructure for learning for the population growing in number and in age profile. The role of the Universities in the process of all-round development and progress towards a more prosperous, capable and knowledge based society cannot be over emphasized.

Gujarat is a State where higher education system has played major role in inspiring the minds of the youth both during the days of freedom movement and since independence. The Ahmedabad Education Society was created at the instance of Gandhiji. Gurumukh Nihhal Singh and Prof. Dantiwala joined freedom movement from the colleges of AEA. Prof. Gadgil was with Sarvajanik Education Society of Surat. Prof. Findley Shirass one of the great experts on federal economic theory was Principal of Gujarat College. Prof. V.K.R.V. Rao taught here. The higher education system of Gujarat has created national public figures in the social and educational arena.

Much before formation of Gujarat as a separate State the Gujarat University was established at Ahmedabad as back as in the year 1999. Almost at the at same time Maharaja Sayajirao University was also established at Baroda in the year 1949 at the initiative of Maharaja of Baroda. Several other Universities have later been established after formation of the State and today Gujarat has 15 Universities of imparting higher education and geographical areas and academic spheres.

3. Existing Scenario in the Higher Education System in the country :-

True education opens minds, unites people and teaches our younger generation to be ideal citizens of the country. At the end of the educational process, they should emerge as confident, mentally and physically fit and spiritually alive to the challenges and opportunities that the world of globalization has opened up for them.

Universities are the premier institutions of the higher education system and function as the centres of education, training and research. Their role in the process of all round development and progress towards a more prosperous, capable and knowledge-based society can never be underestimated.

Apart from the given formal education to the students in their subjects, university should also aim at imparting knowledge which will enable its students to earn a living on a sustainable basis.

There is also a need for the universities to introduce and sustain the human values of compassion, caring and sharing into our education system.

Pt. Nehru during convocation of the Allahabad University had observed:
"A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for progress, for the adventure of ideas and for the search of truth. It stands for the onward march of the human role towards even higher objectives. If the universities discharge their duty adequately, then it is well with the nation and with the people……… vast responsibility, therefore, rests on our universities and educational institutes and those who guide their destiny……. " [December, 1947]
Of late, we have made intensive efforts for expansion of the opportunities in higher education.

The enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (2010) and the Education For All (सर्व शिक्षा अभियान) have opened up new avenues for the children of the remotest areas of the country. Consequently, the inflow in the institutes of higher learning too has increased.

In spite of this, the quality of education has remained a major concern. In the craze for the expansion, we have compromised with the quality.

Only 20% of our graduates are found employable by the industry. Students passing out from our universities lack skills required for the industry.

Stepping forward and expending access to higher education and vocational training will enhance our competitiveness in the global economy, thereby reinforcing our social and economic development.

National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) has rated 62% of our universities and 90% of colleges affiliated to them as average or below average.

It is a sorry state of affairs that institute of impressive growth and expansion, our higher education institutes cannot find place amongst the 100 world class universities; and we have remained in the vast sea of mediocrity and inferiority.

We cannot teach with methods of the 19th century and hope to prepare our youths for the 21st century. Our education system needs revamping.

4. Higher Education in Gujarat :-

Gujarat is a peculiar state where higher education has always played a pivotal role in inspiring the minds of the younger generation both during pre-independence and post–independence days.

In Gujarat, education was considered as a social service and a societal responsibility and not a commercial activity. Many educational institutes were established by the Gandhian leaders, social workers and philanthropists. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was strongly followed both in letter and spirit.

गूजरात विद्यापीठ was established by Mahatma Gandhiji in 1920 with a view to prepare the youths for the task of national reconstruction.

Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad was instrumental and main source of inspiration behind establishment of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Vadodara in 1949.

Gujarat University was conceived in the year 1920 by Mahatma Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and others, although it came into existence in 1949.

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, a distinguished cosmic ray and Space Scientist, Father of Space Programme in India, was instrumental in setting up the Physical Research Laboratory [PRL] in 1947.

Ahmedabad Education Society was founded by Shri G. V. Mavalankar, Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai and Shri Amrutlal Hargovinddas in 1935 under the inspiration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel; and they built number of prestigious schools and colleges in Ahmedabad.

5. Universities in Gujarat :-

1. State-funded Universities
General Universities 16
Sectoral Universities 13
2. Deemed Universities 02
3. Central Universities 01
4. Private aided Universities 02
5. Private Universities 33
6. Institutes devoted to research 06
7. Institutes of National eminence 12
Total 85

Out of the 29 State-funded universities, Governorshri is the Chancellor in 21 universities; whereas in the 8 universities, the Governorshri has no role.

Institutes of Higher Education in Gujarat

A. State-funded Universities :-

General Universities : -

1. Gujarat University (1949)
2. Hemchandracharya North Gujarat Universtiy (1986)
3. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (1994)
4. Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University (1978)
5. Sardar Patel University (1955)
6. Saurashtra University (1965)
7. Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (1965)
8. Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (1959)
9. Shree Somnath Sanskrit University (2005)
10. Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachchh University (2003)
11. Gujarat Technological University (2007)
12. Institute of Infrastructure Technology Research and Management (2012)
13. Bhakt Kavi Narsinh Mehta University (2015)
14. Shri Govind Guru University (2015)
15. Children's University Gujarat (2009)
16. Indian Institute of Teacher Education (2010)
B. Sectoral Universities :-

1. Anand Agricultural University (2004) (Agriculture Department)
2. Navsari Agricultural University (2004) (Agriculture Department)
3. Junagadh Agricultural University (2004) (Agriculture Department)
4. Sardarkrushinagar Agricultural University (2004) (Agriculture Department)
5. Kamdhenu University (2009) (Agriculture Department)
6. Gujarat Ayurved University (1965) (Health & Family Welfare Department)
7. Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (2008) (Home Department)
8. Gujarat National Law University (2003) (Law Department)
9. Gujarat University of Transplantation Sciences (2015) (Health & Family Welfare Department)
10. Raksha Shakti University (2008) (Home Department)
11. Swarnim Gujarat Sports University (2011)
12. Birsa Munda Tribal University (2017)
13. Gujarat Organic Agricultural University (2019)
C. Central Universities :-

1. Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar. (2009)
D. Deemed Universities :-

1. Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad. (1920)
2. Sumandeep Vidyapith, Waghodia
E. Private aided Universities :-

1. Dharamsinh Desai University (DDIT)
2. Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University) (1962)
F. Private Universities :-

1. Ahmedabad University (7.7.2009)
2. Anant National University (9.5.2016)
3. AURO University of Hospitality and Management (12.10.2011)
4. C.U. Shah University (22.4.2013)
5. Calorx Teacher's University (7.7.2009)
6. Charotar University of Science and Technology (4.11.2009)
7. Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (6.3.2003)
8. G.L.S. University (15.4.2015)
9. Ganpat University (23.3.2005)
10. GSFC University (19.12.2014)
11. Indian Institute of Public Health (2.5.2015)
12. Indus University (2.5.2012)
13. Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar. (2011)
14. ITM Vocational University (8.5.2014)
15. Kadi Sarva Vishwavidyalaya (16.5.2007)
16. Karnavati University (31.3.2017))
17. Lakulish Yoga University (4.4.2015)
18. Marwadi University (9.5.2016)
19. Navrachna University (7.7.2009)
20. Nirma University (12.3.2003)
21. P.P. Savani University (31.3.2017)
22. Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (4.4.2007)
23. Parul University (2009)
24. Swarnim Startup and Innovation University (2017)
25. Plastindia International University (9.5.2016)
26. Rai University (2.5.2009)
27. R.K. University (14.10.2011)
28. Sankalchand Patel University (9.5.2016)
29. Team Lease Skills University (22.4.2013)
30. UKA Tarsadia University (14.10.2011)
31. Gujarat Maritime University (2017)
32. Indrashil University
33. Gokul Global University, Siddhpur (2018)
G. Institutes devoted to Research :-

1. Centre for Social Studies, Surat
2. B.M. Institute of Mental Health, Ahmedabad.
3. Gujarat Research Society, Ahmedabad.
4. Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Ahmedabad. (1965)
5. Gujarat Institute of Development and Research, Ahmedabad.
6. Dwarka Sanskrit Academy and Research, Ahmedabad.
H. Institutes of national eminence :-

1. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1961)
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2008)
3. National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. (1961)
4. Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad (1947)
5. Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gandhinagar. (1983)
6. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar (1986)
7. Sardar Vallabhbhai Institute of Technology (SVNIT), Surat.
8. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Ahmedabad (NIPER) (2007)
9. Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) (1979)
10. Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar. (1986).
11. Indian Institute of Advanced Research (IIAR), Gandhinagar (2011).
12. The National Rail and Transportation Institut e. (NRTI) (2018)
Total : 85 Universities
I. List of the State-funded Universities wherein the Hon’ble Governorshri is the Chancellor :-

Sr. No.


Name of the Vice-Chancellor

Website Address Of University

(1) (2) (3) (4)
1. Gujarat University Prof. (Dr.) Himanshu A. Pandya
2. Hemchandracharya North Gujarat Universtiy Dr. Jabali J. Vora
3. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Prof. (Dr.) Ami Upadhyay
4. Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University Dr. Mahipatsinh D. Chavda
5. Sardar Patel University Prof. (Dr.) Shirish R. Kulkarni
6. Saurashtra University Prof. (Dr.) Nitinkumar Madhavjibhai Pethani
7. Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Prof. (Dr.) Shivendra Gupta
8. Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda* Prof. Parimal H. Vyas
9. Shree Somnath Sanskrit University Dr. Gopabandhu Mishra
10. Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachchh University Dr. Darshna C. Dholakiya
11. Gujarat Technological University Prof. Navin Sheth
12. Children's University Gujarat Prof. (Dr.) Harshad P. Shah
13. Indian Institute of Teacher Education Dr. Harshad A. Patel
14. Anand Agricultural University Dr. R.V. Vyas
15. Navsari Agricultural University Dr. S.R. Chaudhary
16. Junagadh Agricultural University Prof. (Dr.) V.P. Chovatiya
17. Sardarkrushinagar Agricultural University Dr. R.K. Patel
18. Kamdhenu University Prof. (Dr.) N.H. Kelawala
19. Gujarat Ayurved University Prof. (Dr.) Anup Thakar
20. Swarnim Gujarat Sports University Prof. (Dr.) Arjunsinh Rana
21. Birsa Munda Tribal University Shri Dilipkumar Rana, IAS (I/C) -
22. Gujarat Organic Agricultural University Dr. B.R. Shah

* Hon’ble Governor is the visitor of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

6. Gujarat’s innovative approach in setting up Universities of unique nature :-
  • रक्षा शक्ति यूनिवर्सिटी [2009] was set up with a mission to impart customized education to the youths in all vital aspects of internal security.
  • Gujarat Forensic Sciences University [2008] was set up with a view to fulfill the acute shortage of forensic experts in the country and the world.
  • Children’s University [2009] was set up with a view to prepare children to build a new world of friendliness, mutuality and harmony through their integral development.
  • Swarnim Gujarat Sports University [2011] was set up to achieve quality in teaching, coaching and research to excel world class educators in the field of physical education.
  • Indian Institute of Teachers Education [2010] was set up with a view to nurture teachers of tomorrow with the knowledge of Indian traditions and usher in new era of teacher education for focusing upon integral development of teachers.
  • Gujarat University of Transplantation Science [2015] is set up to serve as an academic and research institute to medical specialities to improve the clinical, scientific and social aspects of transplantation making it accessible and affordable to the people.
  • The Institute of Infrastructure, Technology, Research and Management [2012] was set up to provide engineering education with specialization in infrastructure to create centres of excellence by fostering cultural and ethical values with a view to enhance professional morality, research integrity, globally acceptable business ethics and morals for professionals.
7. Governor as the Chancellor of the State Funded Universities in Gujarat :-

As per entry 25 of List III [Concurrent List] of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India, State Governments have powers to pass legislations pertaining to education, including technical education, medical education and universities subject to the provisions of entries 63, 64, 65 and 66 of List I, vocational and technical training of labour.

The Governor by virtue of his office is also the Chancellor of most of the Universities in the State. His role as Chancellor, envisages creating right environment and conditions for the Universities so as to enable them to make greater contribution to the cause of higher education in the State. It is the Chancellor's responsibility to steadily and continuously enhance the statute and quality of the University education. Without meddling into the day to day administration, he as the Chancellor has to share his vision, experience and thoughts in furthering the interests of the higher education.

The dignity and impartiality of the office of the Chancellor puts the Governor in a unique position with regard to protecting the autonomy of the Universities and saving them from undue political interference. In order to enable the Chancellor to fulfill and discharge his responsibilities he also enjoys some powers and authority through statutory provisions

8. The Role of the Governor as Chancellor of Universities in Elevating the minds of the Youth :-

8.1 India at the threshold of a new millennium : -

We are at the threshold of a new millennium. We are facing a highly competitive world. We are in the vanguard of a technological revolution through the advancement of science and technology where information technology has taken over or far superseded many other technologies. At such a juncture, we with all our ancient wisdom and knowledge have to catch up fast with the rest of the world.

It is important for us as a nation to analyse the emerging trends and to take pro-active initiatives. Our youth are required to face emerging challenges, and they need to equip themselves with knowledge and motivation to be able to take benefit of the opportunities that the globalisation has offered.

Our youth amounting to 54 crores in the population of about a billion people are a great national resource. Gujarat has population of over 1.82 crores between the age group of 15 35 years. However, the target group would be of 1 crore youth between the age 15 24 year in case of higher education system. They can be joined in the great task of transferring India into a developed nation by 2020.

8.2. The youth as a reservoir of energy enthusiasm and power : -

Our youth are a great source of energy, enthusiasm, ambition and power. If their energies and youthful aspirations could be properly channelised for progress through social change, their enormous potential could work miracles. Right type of environment is needed for this. It is our moral responsibility to properly guide them by showing role models. The role of the university chancellor would hence be visualized as of one who would act as a catalysed in the process of harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of the youth in a number of ways, more particularly by proactively bringing about policies and programmes which would encourage and involve the youth in imparting education to others without disturbing their own studies, would promote them to take leadership on various fronts education, women empowerment, effective implementation of poverty removal programmes, governance, getting rid of corruption, social change, civil defence, disaster management etc. Their idealism, sense of discipline, commitment, conviction and a relentless drive could work miracles for the betterment of the country. Efforts are being made in this direction too.

9. Chancellor's powers in the State-funded Universities of Gujarat at present :-
  1. In most of the State-funded Universities, the Governor is the Chancellor and a Head of the University.
  2. In many of the Universities, the Governor is also one of the Officers of the University.
  3. The Chancellor is the Head of the University Court/ Senate; and when present, can preside over the meeting of the Court.
  4. The Chancellor has to preside over the Convocations of the Universities.
  5. The Chancellor has to appoint Search Committee for the selection of the Vice-Chancellors as per the prescribed procedure in the respective Acts of the concerned universities.
  6. The Chancellor has powers to conduct inquiries into the University's affairs.
  7. The Chancellor has the powers to give his assent to the University's Statutes.
  8. The Chancellor has to appoint his nominee in the selection of the teaching staff in the University.
  9. The Chancellor has powers to confer Honorary Degrees upon the eminent people after following the laid down procedures.
  10. The Chancellor has also the powers for the withdrawal of degrees and diplomas.
  11. The Chancellor has powers to sanction leaves of the Vice-Chancellors.
  12. The Chancellor has powers to sanction foreign tours of the Vice-Chancellors and other teaching staff of the Universities.
10. Concerns of the Universities :-
  1. Shortage of qualified teaching and non-teaching staff; appointment of the adhoc teachers further harms the teaching environment.
  1. Lack of linkages with the best universities within and outside the country.
  1. Right types of Vice-Chancellors are not appointed. They lack vision and cannot provide any leadership to our youths.
  1. Universities do not enjoy functional autonomy. There is too much interference from the state bureaucracy.
  1. Conducive environment for undertaking qualitative research through innovation and creativity does not exist in our Universities. The Vice Chancellors have stopped teaching. They have become administrators.
  1. Lack of proper environment for undertaking qualitative research through innovation and creativity.
  1. Appointment of adhoc teachers /contractual teachers at the college/university level harms the environment.
  1. Lack of proper monitoring of the private universities either by the State or the Central Government.
  1. Posts of the Vice Chancellors, Registrars and Librarians in the colleges and universities are never filled upon time.
  1. Most of the State University Acts are age-old. Need a re-look and require to be modified or re-drafted. This requires a strong political will both at the Centre and the State
  2. Absence of Data Base of innovative measures taken by the universities both at the level of the universities as well as at the State
  1. Amongst the world's best universities, there is a fierce competition to become the best. This element is entirely lacking in our universities. As a result, none of our universities find place amongst the top 100 universities of the world.
  1. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has rated 62% of our universities and 90% of our colleges affiliated to them as average or below average.
  1. Absence of a conducive environment that encourages eminent academicians to accept to work as the Vice-Chancellors.
  1. In the post-liberalization period, gradual withdrawal by the State and the entry of the private initiative has deteriorated the healthy environment as education is being recognised as a “business enterprise’’, rather than a “social good’’.
  1. Accountability of faculties and the Vice-Chancellor is missing.
  1. Absence of a mechanism which prepares students industry ready with relevant skill
11. Suggestions for improvement of the Higher Education System in Gujarat :-
  1. Universities should build up networks with their counterparts within and outside the country and should cultivate habit of sharing experiences and best practices.
  1. University campuses should become centres of learning in the fields of skill development.
  1. Universities should provide practical knowledge of technologies to their students.
  1. Universities should increase their interface with the industries and seek their advice in restructuring their academic curriculum.
  1. Skill training should be provided in local languages.
  1. All vacant posts should be filled up in a transparent manner expeditiously. Vice-Chancellors should be carefully selected so that they could provide visionary leadership.
  1. Selective national service along with vocational training should be introduced.
  1. Universities should create environment so as to promote and encourage qualitative research.
  1. Universities should ensure academic excellence through enhancement of quality education.
  1. Universities should identify ways and means of restoring the respect, honour, dignity and glory that our ancient universities of नालंदा, तक्षशिला and वल्लभी enjoyed in ancient times.
  1. We should bridge gaps between education and employability through skill development.
  1. All vacancies should be filled up with qualified persons expeditiously.
  1. Governments, Universities and industries together should chalk out plans to reduce the skill gap by redesigning course contents/syllabus keeping in view the market needs.
  1. Universities should encourage their students to participate in the Flagship Programmes of the Central Government - Cleanliness Drive, "Skill India", Cashless Economy, Yoga, etc.
  1. Universities should perform some social responsibilities also at their level.
  1. Universities can motivate our youths towards the cause of nation building by imparting education embedded in moral values.
  1. Universities can compile Convocation Addresses so that the faculties and the students can get inspired by reading them.
  1. Universities can ensure academic excellence through enhancement of quality education.
  1. Universities can create an ideal and positive environment within the universities so as to promote and encourage qualitative research.
  1. University Vice Chancellors should hold interactions with the students, faculty members and alumni of the universities on a regular basis.
  1. Universities should establish a system for ensuring accountability of the Vice Chancellor, Deans and faculty members.
  1. Universities should undertake periodic revision of University Acts.
  1. Universities should regularly interact with the Industrial Houses about their manpower requirement.