THE PUNJAB STATE HIGHER EDUCATION COUNCIL BILL, 2018
(Punjab Act No. 24 of 2018)
to establish and incorporate a Council to be known as the Punjab State Higher Education Council for planned and co-ordinated development of Higher Education in the State and for advising the State Government in the matters relating to Higher Education and to oversee its development with perspective planning and monitoring and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto,
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Punjab in the Sixty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1.Short title and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the Punjab State Higher Education Council Act 2018
(2) It shall come into force on and with effect from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) ‘Chairman’ means the Chairman of the Council;
(b) ‘College’ means an educational institution, affiliated to a University, imparting education beyond 10+2 level in any branch of study, but does not include Medical/Technical/Agriculture/Management/Veterinary Colleges;
(c) ‘Council’ means the Punjab State Higher Education Council constituted under section 3 of this Act;
(d) ‘degree’ means a degree in Arts, Science, Commerce, Fine-Arts, Law, or in any other subject recognized by a University including a Post-Graduate or a Research Degree, but does not include Engineering/Technical/Management/Agriculture/Veterinary degrees;
(e) ‘Fund’ means the Punjab State Higher Education Council Fund;
(f) ‘Government College’ means a college fully administered and maintained by the State Government, except Medical / Technical / Agriculture / Management / Veterinary Colleges;
(g) ‘Higher Education’ means the education beyond 10+2 system of study;
(h) ‘Institutions of Higher Education’ means all Universities, Government, Government Aided and Unaided Private Colleges and Constituent Colleges of Universities imparting education beyond 10+2 system in the State, but in the context of this Act, shall not include Medical / Technical/Agriculture/Management/Veterinary Educational Institutions;
(i) ‘Member-Secretary’ means the Member-Secretary of the Council;
(j) ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(k) ‘Private College’ means a college which is run and administered by a private body not receiving any grant from the State Government;
(l) ‘Regulatory Bodies’ means the statutory bodies established by the Central or the State Government;
(m) ‘Search Committee’ means the Search Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 7 of this Act;
(n) ‘State Government’ means the Government of the State of Punjab in the Department of Higher Education;
(o) ‘University’ means a University established or incorporated by or under the Central Act or by an Act of the State Legislature; and
(p) ‘Vice-Chairman’ means the Vice-Chairman of the Council.
3. Constitution, incorporation and headquarter of Council.
(1) The State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute the Punjab State Higher Education Council consisting of the following members, namely:-
|(a) the Chief Minister, Punjab;||: Chairman|
|(b) the Minister of Higher Education, Government of Punjab;||: Vice-Chairman|
|(c) one nominee of Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development,||: Member|
|(d) Administrative Secretary, Department of Finance, Government of Punjab or his nominee not below the rank of a Joint Secretary;||: Member|
|(e) Vice-Chancellor of the Punjabi University, Patiala;||: Member|
|(f) Vice-Chancellor of the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar;||: Member|
|(g) State Project Director, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan;||: Member|
|(h) Director, Public Instructions (Colleges), Punjab;||: Member|
|(i) State Nodal Officer (All India Survey on Higher Education);||: Member|
|(j) two Principals from Government Colleges to be nominated by the State Government, who have been working as such, for a minimum period of one year;||: Members|
|(k) 10-15 members to be nominated by the State Government, from the fields of Arts, Science, Technology, Culture, Industry, Vocational Education, Skill Development etc., who have made substantive and recognizable contribution to their respective fields; and||: Members|
|(l) the Administrative Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Punjab.||: Member-Secretary|
(2) The Council and its members shall together constitute a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall sue or be sued in the name of the Punjab State Higher Education Council.
(3) The headquarters of the Council shall be located in the office of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Directorate of the State of Punjab.
(4) The maximum age limit for the non-official members shall be sixty five years.
(5) The honorarium of non-official members shall be such, as may be prescribed.
(6) The term of nominated members shall be five years. The State Government shall have the right to extend the term of any such member.
4. Meetings of the Council.
(1) The Council shall meet at least once in every three months.
(2) The quorum of the meeting of the Council shall be one third of the total members.
(3) No act or proceedings of the Council shall be deemed to be invalid by reason of any vacancy, or any defect in the constitution of the Council, provided, the quorum is present.
5. Functions and powers of Council.
The following shall be the functions and powers of the Council, namely:-
(a) preparing the State Higher Education Plan (Perspective Plan, Annual Plan and Budget Plan) and providing guidelines to other State Institutions of Higher Education for preparation and implementation of their plans;
(b) coordination between Regulatory Bodies in the field of Higher Education and the State Government;
(c) creating a suitable Management Information System for monitoring and implementation of State Higher Education Plan;
(d) compiling and maintaining periodic statistics at the State and Institutional level;
(e) evaluating State institutions on the basis of norms and Key Performance Indicators developed under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan;
(f) developing additional norms for its own use, if it deems fit, and recommending remedial measures for better performance;
(g) taking appropriate steps for fulfilling the three cardinals of Higher Education namely, Quality, Equity and Access;
(h) monitoring of Academic and Governance reforms in the State Institutions of Higher Education;
(i) developing programmes for greater academic co-operation and interaction amongst the Universities and between the Universities and Colleges;
(j) ensuring timely release and disbursal of funds (State as well as Central Share) as per the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan norms;
(k) advising the State Government on strategic investments in Higher Education and to suggest ways and means for mobilizing additional resources for Higher Education in the State, especially through Public Private Partnership and Philanthropic donations etc.;
(l) directing the State Institutions of Higher Education to ensure that standards of admission, teaching, examination, research, extension programmes, qualified teachers, and infrastructure are maintained in accordance with the guidelines issued by the appropriate authorities of the Central and the State Government from time to time; and
(m) associating with it any person whose assistance or advice, in its opinion, is required for carrying out the functions of the Council.
6. Powers and functions of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
(1) The powers and functions of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council shall be such, as may be prescribed.
(2) The Chairman, and in his absence the Vice-Chairman of the Council, shall preside over the meetings of the Council.
7. Composition of the Search Committee for selection of non-official members.
(1) The non-official members shall be selected by a Search Committee to be headed by the Chief Secretary, Punjab and consisting of the following, namely:-
(a) Administrative Secretary (Higher Education);
(b) Vice-Chancellor of the Punjabi University, Patiala;
(c) Vice-Chancellor of the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; and
(d) two persons of eminence in the field of Higher Education to be nominated by the State Government.
(2) The Search Committee shall devise its own procedure and methodology.
8. Removal of nonofficial members of the Council.
The non-official members of the Council may be removed from their office by the State Government if it is satisfied that the incumbent,-
(a) has become insane or insolvent and has been adjudged and declared so by a competent Court, or
(b) has become physically unfit and incapable of discharging functions due to protracted illness or physical disability; or
(c) has willfully omitted or refused to carry out the provisions of this Act or has abused or misused the powers vested in him/her or has shown incompetence to perform or has persistently made default in the performance of the duties expected or if his/her continuation in office is detrimental to the interest of the Council; or
(d) has been proved to be guilty of criminal breach of trust or criminal negligence or gross financial irregularity or impropriety or gross negligence of duty or has been convicted by a Court of law for any offence within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code.
9. Powers and functions of the Member-Secretary
(1) The Member-Secretary shall act as the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.
(2) Every order of the Council shall be executed through the Member-Secretary.
(3) The powers and functions of the Member-Secretary shall be such, as may be prescribed.
10. Staff of the Council.
(1) Adequate staff, either through direct recruitment or on deputation or on contractual basis or any other way in consonance with the Government policy, shall be employed for the Council:
Provided that the terms and conditions of service of the officers and employees of the Council shall be such, as may be prescribed:
Provided further that relevant service rules in relation to the officers and employees belonging to different cadres of the State Government shall continue to apply upon such officers and employees who may be deputed to the Council.
(2) The State Project Director, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, in consultation with the Member-Secretary, shall be authorized to engage experts/specialists/agencies for preparation of reports, carrying out studies or executing any work assigned by the State Government or the Council. However, ex-post-facto approval of the Council shall be taken in this regard.
11. Fund of the Council.
(1) There shall be a Fund of the Council to be known as the Punjab State Higher Education Council Fund to which shall be credited all grants received from the Central Government, the State Government, any regulatory body/authority or any contributions and subscriptions.
(2) The State Government shall establish a corpus of five crore rupees for the establishment and functioning of the Council. The State Government may also release grants from time to time in terms of its annual budget for the Council.
(3) The Fund shall be used in meeting the expenses of the Council, including the payment of salaries and allowances of all the officers and employees of the Council.
12. Accounts and audit
(1) The Council shall maintain proper records and books of accounts for each and every financial year in such manner and in such form, as may be prescribed.
(2) The State Government shall cause statutory audit of the funds and accounts of the Council in such manner, as may be prescribed.
13. Budget of Council.
The Council shall submit to the State Government, its annual budget showing estimates of receipts and disbursements for the following year.
14. Power to make rules.
(1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) Every rule made under this section, shall be laid, as soon as may be, after it is made, before the House of the State Legislature while it is in session for a total period of ten days, which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions and if, before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the successive sessions as aforesaid, the House agrees in making any modification in the rule or the House agrees that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter, have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be. However any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done or omitted to be done under that rule.
Secretary to Government of Punjab,
Department of Legal and Legislative Affairs.