Role of the Governor - As a Chancellor of the Universities

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 technical and 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 harness the emerging global opportunities.

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.

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 details of these Universities are as follows:

1.

Gujarat University

2.

Veer Narmad -South Gujarat University

3.

Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University.

4.

Saurashtra University

5.

M.K. Bhavnagar University

6.

Sardar Patel University

7.

Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University.

8.

Junagadh Agricultural, University.

9.

Anand Agricultural University.

10.

Navsari Agricultural University

11.

Gujarat Ayurved University

12.

Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Open University.

13.

M.S. University of Baroda

14.

The Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University,

15.

Shri Somnath Sanskrit University

16.

The Gujarat Technological University

17.

The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University

18.

Childrens University

19.

Kamdhenu University

20.

The Raksha Shakti University

21.

Indian Institute of Teacher 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

As is well known, the Governor as Chancellor of University also acts as President of the Senate. He has power to direct inspection of every component of the Universities and affiliated colleges, required due action on the result of inquiry. The Chancellor appoints search committee for appointments of Vice Chancellor. He accords consent of warrant of degrees and withdraw degree or distinctions both at the recommendations of the Senate. He approves or disapproves statutes passed by the Senate and appoints teachers of the University based on recommendation of the respective committees.

With a view to make the presence of the Governor in the picture of higher education system more effective in the governance of the University in their endeavour to elevating the minds of youth and ultimately make their due contribution to the process of speedy development of the nation, the traditional role of the Governor as Chancellor needs to be redefined and chartered as precisely as possible.

As a first step in this direction an attempt was made by the Gajendra Gadkar Committee of 1971 and later by Dr. P.C.Alaxender Committee of 1996. The recommendations made by both the committees have remained under process at various levels.

1. Gajendra Gadkar Committee - 1971:

The committee had recommended that interference of the Government in the functioning of the University should be minimized and structural arrangement in various Acts establishing the Universities should provide that the States shall exercise their authority through the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor.

The committee also recommended that the concept of University authority does not exclude the broad supervisory function of the State over the administration of the University. The committee perceived Chancellor's right of inspections an important instrument of effective supervision. In addition, the Chancellor also has the power to nominate persons on the management bodies of the Universities like Senate (Court) and the Syndicate (Executive Council), Chancellor's power to cause annulment of any proceedings of university which are inconsistent with the Act, Statutes or the Ordinance as also to decide the case of appointment of teachers etc. are among the powers making Chancellor's role of supervisory.

2. Dr. P.C.Alaxender Committee - 1996 :

Subsequent to the Gajendra Gadkar Committee, the Hon'ble the President of India appointed a committee of Governors, chaired by Dr. P.C.Alaxender, Hon'ble the Governor of Maharashtra to further examine the role of the Chancellors of the Universalities.

The report has been circulated by the Government of India among the State Governments to elicit their comments.

A good number of recommendations made by this Committee envisages a greater role of the Governor into the working of the Universities and address the basic issues serving as bottle-necks in the process of achieving the desired goals and objectives of the Higher Education System. Among other things, the Committee has emphasized upon the need for counter acting tendency in certain States to whittle down the office of the Chancellor so that embarrassment that may be caused to the office of the Governor can be avoided. The committee has strongly recommended that to guide the Vice Chancellors the University system in general should be further strengthened wherever necessary.

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.

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.

Various Universities in Gujarat have been constituted under the respective Acts as shown below:-

Gujarat University

The Gujarat University Act, 1949

Saurashtra University

The Saurashtra University Act, 1965

Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University

The North Gujarat University Act, 1986

Veer Narmad South Gujarat University

The South Gujarat University Act, 1965

Sardar Patel University

The Sardar Patel University Act, 1955

M.K. Bhavnagar University

The Bhavnagar University Act, 1978

Navsari Agri. University

The Gujarat Agricultural University Act, 1969

Junagadh Agri. University

The Gujarat Agricultural University Act, 1969

Anand Agri. University

The Gujarat Agricultural University Act, 1969

Dantiwada Agri. University

The Gujarat Agricultural University Act, 1969

Gujarat Ayurvedic University

The Gujarat Ayurvedic University Act, 1965

Dr. Ambedkar Open University

The Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Act, 1994

M.S. University

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Act, 1949

Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University,

The Kutch University Act, 2003

Shri Somnath Sanskrit University

Shri Somnath Sanskrit University Act, 2005.

The Gujarat Technological University


The Gujarat Technological University Act, 2007

The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University


The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Act, 2008

Childrens University


The Childrens University Act, 2009

Kamdhenu University


The Kamdhenu University Act, 2009

The Raksha Shakti University


The Raksha Shakti University Act, 2009

Indian Institute of Teacher Education


The Indian Institute of Teacher Education Act, 2010

Name of the Vice- Chancellors of the various Universities and their details are as shown below:-

Sr. No. Name of the University Name of the Vice - Chancellor
1 GUJARAT AYURVED UNIVERSITY Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha
2 ANAND AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY Dr. N.C. Patel
3 HEMCHANDRACHARYA NORTH GUJARAT UNIVERSITY Dr. R.L. Godara
4 GUJARAT UNIVERSITY Dr. M.N. Patel
5 SARDARKRUSHINAGAR DANTIWADA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY Dr. Ashok A. Patel
6 DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR OPEN UNIVERSITY Dr. Manoj Soni
7 SARDAR PATEL UNIVERSITY Dr. Harish Padh
8 VEER NARMAD SOUTH GUJARAT UNIVERSITY Dr. Dakshesh Thaker
9 SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY Dr. P.L. Chauhan
10 NAVSARI AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY Dr. C.J. Dangaria
11 THE MAHARAJA SAYAJIRAO UNIVERSITY OF BARODA Prof. Parimal H. Vyas, Pro-V.C.
12 JUNAGADH AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY Dr. A.R. Pathak
13 THE KRANTIGURU SHYAMJI KRISHNA VERMA KACHCHH UNIVERSITY Dr. B.S. Patel (Ic)
14 SHREE SOMNATH SANSKRIT UNIVERSITY Dr. V. Kutumba Sastry
15 THE GUJARAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY Dr. Akshai K. Aggarwal
16 M.K. Bhavnagar University Dr. H.N. Vaghela, (I/C).
17 The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Dr. J.M. Vyas
18 Childrens University Shri Divyanshu Dave (I/C), Director, General
19 Kamdhenu University Dr. M.C. Varshneya
20 The Raksha Shakti University Shri O.P. Mathur, IPS (Retd)
21 Indian Institute of Teacher Education Dr. Shashiranjan Yadav

Further details of the above Universities can be accessed through their respective Web-sites.