The North-Eastern Hill University Act, 1973

The North-Eastern Hill University Act, 1973 (Act No. 24 of 1973) being the Act of Parliament was assented by President of India on 26th May, 1973 and on the same day to it, the Act was published for general information. The Act was to mainly provide for incorporation of a teaching and affiliation of University for benefiting the population residing at hill areas of the North Eastern Region. By doing this, it was expected that there should be development of intellectual, academic and cultural background of those people. The resolution i.e. Constitution Resolution which was passed by Legislatures of the State of Meghalaya and Nagaland for establishment of such Central University for hill areas of the North-Eastern region and the same should be governed and regulated by laws of Parliament. The Act was extended earlier to the State of Meghalaya and Nagaland, however, the provision dealing with extension of the Act was amended with the evolution of erstwhile Union Territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram to full-fledged Statehood by the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 and State of Mizoram Act, 1986. Similarly, the same provision was further, amended by notification of the Nagaland University Act, 1989.

Section 3 of the Act deals with establishment of University namely ‘North Eastern Hill University’ and its head quarter was decided to locate at Shillong and its campuses were decided to be spread over entire State. Sub Section (3) of the provision says that, the body corporate namely ‘North-Eastern Hill University’ to be constituted by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and the members of the Court, the Executive Council and the Academic Council. And such corporate body should have perpetual succession and common seal and also can sue and can be sued. Section 4 provides for objects of the University, which should be to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in such branches of learning as it may deem fit and to pay special attention to the improvement of the social and economic conditions and welfare of the people of the hill areas of the North-Eastern region, and, in particular their intellectual, academic and cultural advancement.

Section 5 provides for powers of the University established under this Act. There are number of powers enlisted under this provision which closely connected to dissemination of knowledge and education and also to provide for other given matters. Section 6 gives jurisdiction to this University and the colleges or institutions located outside the State where the University has jurisdiction, should not required compulsorily to be affiliated to this University. However, if any such college or institution wanted to be affiliated to this University then they should be ready to be the subject of its Statute and Ordinances and also should cease to be affiliated to other University. Section 7 is important so as to avoid discrimination in admission processes, etc. on the ground of caste, creed or otherwise. Similarly, the President of India should be the visitor of this University, who may inspect or cause any person such inspection in the University affairs on his giving notice of his intention of such inspection. Section 9 empowers the Governor of the State to act as a Chief Rector of the University and Section 10 gives a list of Officers of the University, and description of each of the officers of University, including Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, etc. have been in detailed provided under subsequent provisions. Similarly, Section 18 of the Act specified list of authorities of the University, including Court, Executive Council, etc.

Section 24 of the Act deals with power of making statutes consisting of number of matters enlisted under this provisions and Section 26 makes provisions as to making of ordinances and enlisted matters on which it should make provisions. Similar provision is also made in respect of making of regulations under Section 27 of the Act. Section 28 deals with Annual Report and Section 29 provides for Annual accounts of the University.

Section 30 is important so far as it is relating to conditions of services of employees of the University, wherein it is said that, the appointment of the employees of the University should be made by written contract and any dispute therein should be referred to the Tribunal of Arbitration, which is to be constituted as provided under this provision. The Section 31 of the Act deals with provisions as to appeal from the order of Vice-Chancellor or disciplinary committee, etc. against the students or candidates, debarring them form examination. Further, the provisions of section 33 of the Act dealt with constitution of provident and pensionary benefits by the University. All the other subsequent provisions of the Act are dealing with relevant matters as are considered necessary by the legislature while enacting this legislation.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan