Jharkhand assembly clears Health Science University Bill, with CM as Chancellor - Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand assembly clears Health Science University Bill, with CM as Chancellor

By, Ranchi
Aug 04, 2023 09:25 PM IST

Amid protests by Opposition BJP members, the assembly cleared the Jharkhand Health Science University Bill, 2023, which aims to streamline health education across different discipline and institutions and establish a specialized autonomous body.

Setting the stage for a possible showdown with Raj Bhawan, the Jharkhand government on Friday tabled a Bill to set up a health science university in the state, which would have the chief minister as its Chancellor.

Jharkhand government tabled a Bill to set up a health science university, which would have CM Hemant Soren as its Chancellor (ANI)
Jharkhand government tabled a Bill to set up a health science university, which would have CM Hemant Soren as its Chancellor (ANI)

Amid protests by Opposition BJP members, the assembly cleared the Jharkhand Health Science University Bill, 2023, which aims to streamline health education across different discipline and institutions and establish a specialized autonomous body.

Jharkhand has eight functional state universities and Governor is the Chancellor of all these institutions.

The Bill comes at a time when the Hemant Soren government and the Raj Bhawan have been at loggerheads over a host of issues, especially with passing of bills.

Four BJP legislators brought motions to send the Bill to the select committee and were supported by AJSU (P) and CPI (ML).

BJP legislators Amit Mandal and Ramchandra Chandravanshi also brought a few amendments, but all of them were turned down and the Bill was cleared with voice vote.

BJP legislator Amar Kumar Bauri alleged that the Bill has been brought with sole aim to belittle the office of Raj Bhawan. “This Bill is against the spirit of federal structure. It seems the government just wants to satisfy its ego by interfering into the traditional powers of the office of Raj Bhawan,” said Bauri.

Mandal said the government should clarify what was the need to make the chief minister its chancellor.

“The health minister is saying that making CM its chancellor would help in better development of the state. What is the connection of development with who would be the Chancellor. Does he want to say that development is being affected if the Governor is Chancellor of other state universities. He should give some logical explanation. If the government had to make CM the Chancellor, they should have brought a state university bill, changing the post of Chancellor in all state universities,” said Mandal.

CPI-ML legislator Binod Singh too made similar remark, seeking reason for making the change, and underlined that by making political figures head of institutions would defeat the idea expressed by the government that they want to put in place an autonomous institution.

Replying to the issues raised, health minister Banna Gupta said it is surprising the BJP was making an issue over who would be the Chancellor.

“It was their NDA government in Bihar that made chief minister the Chancellor of three universities — health university, technical university and sports university. How can that be right for them in one state and wrong in another? Let them explain us the rationale behind their decision, then I can explain mine. The government is bringing this Bill after a lot of thought and there is no need to send the Bill to the select committee,” said Gupta.

In the past three-and-a-half years, the Raj Bhawan has returned several Bills passed by the assembly, leading to political mud-slinging between the ruling dispensation and the Opposition.

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