Governors as chancellors: The points of conflict
- August 28, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Governors as chancellors: The points of conflict
Section: Modern India
- In the initial years of our Republic, there were hardly any conflicts between governors as chancellors and state governments. The Congress was in power at the national and state level. The President, bound by the Prime Minister’s advice, appointed individuals closely linked to the party as governors.
- The Bengal Council of Education championed the setting up of a university that had the power to grant degrees in arts, science, law, medicine and civil engineering. The council suggested that the government model the university along the lines of the University of London, an examination and degree-awarding institution. Nine years later, the government in India accepted this proposal with some modifications.
- The ‘Despatch of 1854 on the General Education in India’ famously called Wood’s Despatch, suggested the creation of universities in India.
- It recommended that the universities consist of a chancellor, vice-chancellor and fellows, who would constitute a senate.
- It stated further that the ‘offices of chancellor and vice-chancellor will naturally be filled by persons of high station, who have shown an interest in the cause of education…’. Acting on this suggestion, the Governor General decided that he would be the chancellor of the university at Calcutta, and the governors for Bombay and Madras would be the chancellors for the universities in the two presidency towns.
- These three universities were set up in 1857 at Calcutta,Bombay,Madras, by separate laws passed by the Legislative Council of India.
- After Independence, a committee headed by Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan observed that the practice of the governor being a chancellor had worked well in states with only one university.
- The commission left it to the states to decide whether they wanted the governor to be the chancellor, especially if the state had multiple universities. States opted to stick to the status quo, and while enacting legislation for universities in their states, they made the governor their chancellor.
- In 2010, the Punchi commission(Centre-state relations) stated that when governors act as chancellors, it opens their office to controversies and public criticism.
- earlier this year, the West Bengal Legislature passed a law making the Chief Minister the chancellor of 31 state universities.
Wood’s Despatch on Education in 1854 l
- It laid the foundation on which the educational system has since developed. Various problems related to education in India had become one of the key concerns of the British government by 1853.
- For the first time, Wood’s Despatch recommended the establishment of a Department of Public Instruction in each of Bengal’s five provinces: Bombay, Madras, Punjab, and the North-Western provinces.
- The expansion of mass education was another major recommendation of the Despatch.
- Because it was discovered that the common people lacked educational opportunities, much emphasis was placed on increasing the number of primary, middle, and high schools.
- The establishment of universities in the three Presidency towns of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras was recommended by the Despatch. The universities were to be modeled after the University of London.
- Departments of Arabic, Sanskrit, and Persian, as well as law and civil engineering, were to be established at the universities.
- Wood’s Despatch advocated for the establishment of a grant-in-aid system in Indian education.
- The Wood’s Despatch emphasized the importance of teaching English while also emphasizing the importance of teaching Indian languages.
- The Despatch recommended that the government always support women’s education.
- The Wood’s Despatch recommended that teacher training schools be established in each province. Engineering, medicine, and law teachers should be trained in special schools.
- The Wood’s Despatch advocated for the establishment of a nationwide network of graded schools.
The Governor’s appointment, his powers and everything related to the office of Governor have been discussed under Article 153 to Article 162 of the Indian Constitution.
- The appointment and powers of government can be derived from Part VI of the Indian constitution. Article 153 says that there shall be a Governor for each State. One person can be appointed as Governor for two or more States.
- The governor acts in ‘Dual Capacity’ as the Constitutional head of the state and as the representative.
- He is the part of federal system of Indian polity and acts as a bridge between union and state governments.
- Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. They are as follows:
- A governor must:
- Be a citizen of India.
- Be at least 35 years of age.
- Not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.
- Not hold any office of profit.
- The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by:
- Dismissal by the president on the advice of the council of minister headed by the prime minister of the country.
- Dismissal of governors without a valid reason is not permitted. However, it is the duty of the President to dismiss a governor whose acts are upheld by courts as unconstitutional and malafide.
- Resignation by the governor.
- Article 163: It talks about the discretionary power of governor.
- Article 256: The executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.
- Article 257: The executive power of the Union shall also extend to the giving of directions to a State as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication declared in the direction to be of national or military importance
- Article 355: It entrusts the duty upon Union to protect the states against “external aggression” and “internal disturbance” to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of Constitution.
- Article 356: In the event that a state government is unable to function according to constitutional provisions, the Central government can take direct control of the state machinery. The state’s governor issues the proclamation, after obtaining the consent of the President of India.
- Article 357: It deals with Exercise of legislative powers under Proclamation issued under Article 356 by the central government.