Threat to federalism in agricultural education

Source– The post is based on the article “Threat to federalism in agricultural education” published in The Hindu on 20th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Issues and challenges pertaining to federal structure

Relevance: Centre-state legislative relations

News- The article explains the issues related to KUFOS judgement by Kerala High Court

What is KUFOS judgement?

It annulled the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS). The court said that the appointment violated the UGC Regulations of 2018.

It listed two specific violations: (a) the search committee recommended a single name and not a panel; and (b) in the search committee, the State government included the Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) instead of a UGC nominee.

What are the issues related to judgement?

It weakens the principle of federalism. It dismantles the role of State governments in the governance of agricultural universities.

It raises an existential threat for the facilitator and coordinator of agricultural education – the ICAR. It has sought to substitute the role of the ICAR with the UGC’s Regulations.

It also jeopardises the ICAR’s efforts to ensure a minimum level of uniformity in agricultural education. The Model Act for agriculture universities stipulates three members in the search committee for Vice-Chancellors: the Director-General of ICAR; one nominee of the government; and one nominee of the Chancellor.

The KUFOS judgement makes the presence of the ICAR representative invalid. In short, all appointments of Vice-Chancellors of State agricultural, veterinary, fisheries universities made under the ICAR’s Model Act are likely to be rendered untenable.

What are the constitutional provisions related to agriculture education?

AgricultThreat to federalism in agricultural educationposed the Model Act for Agricultural Universities in India to bring uniformity in administration.

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