Hyderabad, Mar 28 (PTI) A Bill to allow private universities in Telangana was passed by the state Assembly today.

The ‘Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Bill, 2018’, introduced by Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiam Srihari in the Assembly yesterday, was passed after discussions today amid a walk out by opposition parties, including the BJP and TDP.

During the discussions, Srihari said setting up of private universities was aimed at ensuring availability of worldwide educational and research opportunities to students in Telangana.

“State run universities will be developed. Private universities will not be accorded a red-carpet welcome at the cost of state universities. In that connection I give an assurance on behalf of the state government,” he said.

BJP, Congress and TDP ruled states also have private universities, not just Telangana, he said, adding 11 private universities are coming up in Andhra Pradesh.

“It is not meant to affect either government educational system or to cause any injustice to poor students”, the Minister said, on concerns raised by some legislators.

He further said that there are 1,528 vacancies in 11 universities in Telangana and that permission has been given to different universities to fill up 1,061 vacancies.

“Soon a notification will be issued,” Srihari said.

According to the draft Bill, 25 per cent of seats for admissions in various courses offered by private universities will be exclusively reserved for students of Telangana on the basis of domicile.

Meanwhile, members of different student outfits marched towards the Assembly, demanding that the government withdraw the Bill and accused it of neglecting state universities and encouraging privatisation of higher education.

However, police foiled their attempts to picket the Assembly and took several protesters into preventive custody.

The private varsities which will come up in Telangana will have full autonomy with regard to starting various academic programmes and also in the admission process.

The Bill also states that the university should obtain accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NACC) within five years from the commencement of the programme and courses in the university.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.