The Sikkim University Act, 2007

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An Act no. 10 of the year 2007 being the Act of Parliament was short titled as ‘The Sikkim University Act, 2007’. The Act was to provide for establishment and incorporation of the University for the State of Sikkim. The same was assented by the President of India on 10th January, 2007.

So far as the main purpose of the Act is concerned, the provision of section 3 says that a University being corporate body to be established for the State of Sikkim with the and title as ‘Sikkim University’ and the head-quarters of which should be located at Gangtok. The said University was established on 2nd July, 2007. The said University was established with certain objects including the one relating to spread of knowledge. Similarly, the Act also provided University with powers as have been specified under section 5 of the Act. Among the other powers of the University, the one relating to making of provisions for instructions in the branches of learning and also relating to granting of diplomas, etc. The said University was established with its jurisdiction extending to the entire State of Sikkim, as per section 6 of the Act. Similarly, all the educational institutions in the State of Sikkim were taken within the jurisdiction of the Sikkim University and if any privilege, etc. granted by any other University to such Institutions, the same were required to withdraw from the date on which the Act got enforced. However, the Central Government is given a power to order that the provisions of this section should not be applied in relation to any specified Institution.

The Act sought to minimize the degree of discrimination by providing that irrespective of the class, creeds, caste, race, gender, etc. the University should be open for all persons.  However, the special provisions for the special persons including persons from weaker sections or otherwise from the Scheduled Casts or Tribes should not be affected. The President of India is called Visitor for the purpose of this Act and such Visitor is vested with certain powers to inspect or review the working of University. For such purpose of inspection or reviewing the President can appoint persons. Similarly, the Governor of the concerned State is designated with the Chief Rector of the University. Moreover, there are also other officers of the University, including Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, etc. Such other officers of the University were specifically appointed one by one under subsequent provisions to the section 10 of the Act. Similarly, section 20 species the number of authorities of concerned University, including the Court, Executive Council, Board of Studies, etc. And their descriptions along with constitution, functions, etc. are given under subsequent provisions.

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The other important aspect relating to such University is started from section 28 of the Act. The provision of section 28 specifies that there should be ‘Statute’ of the University which should cover the matters provided under this provision, including matter relating to constitution, powers and functions of any new authorities other than which are provided under this Act and matter relating to appointment of teaches and other academic staff of the University. Section 29 provides for procedure for making such Statutes. Likewise, there is an another provision relating to making of Ordinances covering the matters enlisted under section 30 of the Act, including admission of students, courses of study, etc. Similarly, there is an authority of University to make Regulations dealing with the regulation and conduct of business of University and of Committees.

The provisions relating to annual reports, accounts, returns, etc. are provided under subsequent provisions to the section 31 of the Act. Moreover, the Act provides for conditions of the service of employees of the University under section 35, where it is provided that, there should be written contracts under which every employees to be appointed and in case of any disputes relating such employment, such disputes to be referred to the Arbitral Tribunal as per this Act.

It is also provided that in case of any student or employee of the University or otherwise of any college running under such University, feeling aggrieved by any decision of Management, Principal, etc. then such student or employee should have right to prefer appeal against such decision before the Executive Council. The University is further required to constitute, provident and pension fund for the benefits of its employees. Finally, all other ending provisions are related to the relevant aspects of University and its functions relating to statutes, ordinances, etc. and also relating to the any difficulty arising in respect of connected matters, etc. Lastly, it is also provided there should be no legal actions taken against the officers, employees of the said University in respect of actions which they have taken under good faith and within the provisions of this Act, Statute, etc. At the end of the Act, a Schedule mentioned the first Statute of the University found, with the number of provisions.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.