Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled after the First General Election under the Sovereign Democratic and Republican Constitution of India.
The Assembly met at 9 a.m. on Friday, the 1st December, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.

(QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS)

Mr. Speaker :- Let us take up Starred Question.

(To which oral replies were given)

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to seek a clarification. When the hon. Member who asks the question is absent, will the question lapse? Now again when the Minister incharge also is absent what will be the consequence?

Mr. Speaker :- The principle of ministerial responsibilities is that any of his colleagues may give the reply.

Reclamation and terracing at Dokongsi in Garo Hills

Shri Pritingson Sangma asked :

* 1. Will the Minister incharge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state -

  (a) Whether Government proposed to take up the scheme for large scale reclamation and terracing with the facilities for irrigation at Dokongsi (Darrang-Rongra-Akhing) in Garo Hills?
  (b) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the Nokma of the Darrang-Rongra-Akhing land has donated 500 acres of land to the Government for the purpose of afforestation?
  (c) Whether Government has taken up the works of afforestation on the donated land?
  (d) If not, the reasons thereof?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) (replied on behalf of Minister of Soil Conservation).

1. (a) -Yes. Government want to take up reclamation and terracing work at Dokongsi.
  (b) -No.
  (c) -In view of (b) above does not arise.
  (d) -One Shri Dinesh Arengh who claimed himself to be a Nokma of the Akhing wrote to the Department offering 300 acres of land for afforestation, but on enquiry it is found and confirmed by the Garo Hills District Council that he is not a recognised Nokma of the Akhing.

       Further, the area of 300 acres offered was found to be only 50 acres, which is already covered with bamboo and other forest trees. So the question of afforestation does not arise.

Shri Prittington Sangma (Kharkutta S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know when the proposed scheme for reclamation and terracing will be taken up?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want notice.

Mr. Speaker :- Starred Question No.2.

Transfer of Superintending Engineer 

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

* 2. Will the Minister incharge of Public Works Department (R. and B) be pleased to state -

  (a) Whether it is a fact that some associations, M.L.As and others have represented on behalf of the public to transfer Sri S.P. Sireng, Superintending Engineer, Tura from Garo Hills?
  (b) If so, what steps Government have taken in this matter?
  (c) Whether it is a fact that local contractors were not given the preference in the distribution of contract by the said officer?

Shri G.S. Marak [Minister of State, incharge, P.W.D. (R. and B.)] replied:

2. (a) -Yes. The correct name of the Superintending Engineer, Tura is Shri S.P. Sarkar.
  (b) and (c) -In the interest of public service a general transfer order of the Superintending Engineers in Meghalaya has been issued on the 1st November 1972. In the transfer, Sri Sarkar is also involved and he is posted in the Chief Engineer's Office as Superintending Engineer (Planning and Projects).

        The various representations, both for and against are under investigation.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS 

(To which answers were laid on the Table)

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to Unstarred Questions.

Common Service Cadre

Shri Elwin Sangma asked :

8. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether the Government of Meghalaya propose to create a Common Service Cadre to both the State Governments and District Council Services?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

8.- No.

Vacancy of Veterinary Doctors

Shri F.K. Mawlot asked :

9. Will the Minister incharge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

  (a) Whether it is a fact that there are as many as 41 vacancies of Veterinary Doctors in the State Level?
  (b) If so, the reason for not appointing in the said vacancies?
  (c) Whether it is a fact that there are a good number of Meghalaya Veterinary Doctors serving in the Assam Government?
  (d) If the answer to (c) above is in the affirmative, will Government please absorb these Doctors in Meghalaya in consultation with the Government of Assam?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

9. (a) -There are at present only 30 vacancies of Veterinary Doctors in the State.
  (b) -The vacancies are being advertised through the Meghalaya Public Service Commission.
  (c) -No.
  (d) -Does not arise.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how do the Government propose to fill up these vacancies?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture, etc.) :- There are 16 stipendaries now under training and when these people have completed their training they will fill up these vacancies. We are also looking for candidates from outside for these posts.

Mr. Speaker :-  Unstarred Question No.10.

Agreement between Meghalaya Government and Bangladesh Government

Shri Raisen Mawsor asked :

10. Will the Minister incharge of Trades and Commerce be pleased to state -

  (a) Whether it is a fact that there has been an agreement between the Government of Meghalaya and the Bangladesh Government with regard to supply of fishes to our State?
  (b) If so, who are the agents in the matter of bringing such fishes?
  (c) Whether it is a fact that Government have not preferred the local men of the border areas for appointment as agents, etc., in the matter of bringing fish from Bangladesh and appointed instead from outside the said areas?
  (d) If so, whether Government will consider to appoint such agents from the local men of the border areas?

Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Supply, Trade etc.) replied :

10. (a) -There has been no agreement between the Government of Meghalaya and the Bangladesh Government with regard to supply of fish to our State. In fact there is an agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh for import of fish valued at Rs.9 crores from Bangladesh to India. The importing agency in India has been notified as the Central Fisheries Corporation, a Government of India undertaking.
 
 
  (b), (c) and (d) - Do not arise.

        Then let us take up item No.2

PRIVILEGE MOTION.

*Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the provision of Rule 159 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, I hereby beg to move a privilege motion against the Editor, Publisher and Printer of "The Implanter" for publishing a news item under the caption - "In Jaintia Hills Politicians prepare for election" which appeared in the issue, dated September 2, 1972 of the said paper.

        In this news item, the Editor has reported that there was a big public meeting at Mynso on August 30, 1972, which is not true since there was no public meeting at all on that day at Mynso. Over and above that the Editor has maligned the Mover by reporting that he was the main Speaker on that day and his speech was a personal attack against Mr. E. Bareh. By this report the Editor has committed a serious breach of privilege of the hon. Member of this House and by this publication he has also lowered the dignity and prestige of the House as a whole in the esteem and opinion of the people of Jaintia Hills in particular and of the State in general. In this connection Sir, I beg to submit that about two weeks after the publication of this news report I met personally the Editor of the said paper and told him that he has done a very wrong thing by publishing a non-existent news. But he did not express his regret or apology or said anything in return. It seems he did not take it seriously but he merely said that a mere publication of the corrigendum will solve the matter. So his very attitude Sir, seems to be intentional because he did not feel anything for his wrong reporting. He did not feel worried for his injuries done to somebody. Even then, Sir, I have been waiting for the reaction from his side, but up till now nothing has been done. The latest issue of his paper was, dated 25th November, 1972 but I have seen that nothing has been done at all. So Sir, in view of the personal contact I had with him, it appears to me that his attitude is nothing but preplanned and intentional at least to do some injury to the mover by publishing such a false news.

Mr. Speaker :- Did not that news connect you as Member of this House?

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is why I move this privilege motion before the House today otherwise Sir, I would have filed a case against the Editor in a competent Court of law. But since it was mentioned here as Mr. H. Hadem, M.L.A. I took it that it means the whole House itself. Therefore, Sir, I take it that it amounts to an insinuation and insult when nothing has been done even after personal contact. So, it appears to me that it is not only an insult but an assault itself.

Mr. Speaker :- Did you contact the editor personally?

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Yes, Sir. So, the insult is a very serious one - and most unfortunate that during the first year after the attainment of State-hood such insult has been made. This sort of thing should not happen as far as practicable. I, therefore, beg your honour, Sir, to take the case seriously. With these few words, Sir, I move my privilege motion.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion and with your permission I would like to make some observation. The meeting referred to by the hon. Mover of the motion was held about 15 or 16 days ago. As he has said that the corrigendum, not to speak of the apology, did not appear in the paper and instead in its next issue the same editor and publisher has brought out the name of Mr. Hadem which cast aspersion solely on the Hon'ble Speaker of this august House. And if you read the last page, three other M.L.As of this august House were brought in. It seems that this paper was conceived and formed and published solely for the purpose of attacking the M.L.As of this august House. And on this Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had myself tabled two privilege motions against the same editor and publisher of the paper for speaking disrespectful of yourself Mr. Speaker, Sir, and for speaking disrespectful of the M.L.As.

Mr. Speaker :- You can bring that issue with the other privilege motions.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The only point Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that the same paper carries the advertisements from the Government. If you turn to the last page you will find that there for advertisements alone the total amount comes to Rs.900. This goes to show as if the Government pays the paper for attacking the M.L.As and attacking the Hon'ble Speaker. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, although this motion is moved by Mr. Hadem, I move that this case be referred to the Privilege Committee.

Mr. Speaker :- How do you anticipate that it will go to the Privilege Committee?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  But whatever the decision of the House, I move that in the mean time, the Press Gallery Pass of the Editor and Publisher of the paper should be suspended.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member who would like to make a submission or observation?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to make some observation, on the question of the rules. It may be unfortunate that a wrong publication of a non-existent public meeting is being reported in the newspaper and that matter a wrong allegation is being made in the newspaper regarding the speech of a public leader or a Member of this august House. But just at the moment, Mr. Speaker, Sir,  we are concerned with the question of privilege under Rule 159, and we are to decide whether Prima facie there is a question of breach of privilege in these two facts reported in the newspaper. And if there is a question of privilege whether there is a prima facie  case that a breach of privilege has been committed by the editor and printer of the newspaper. As to the first fact of  the non-existent public meeting, I would doubt very much Mr. Speaker, Sir, that if there was no public meeting whether the privilege of this House or any Member of the House has been infringed by a mere report - a wrong report, in the sense that the meeting was not held. I would submit, Sir, on the first count that the newspaper had made a wrong report of non-existent public meeting. There may be a question on the second question, namely, that in the newspaper it was mentioned about one hon. Member of this august House having made a speech and in that speech he made a personal attack on another hon. Member of this House. Now, the question therefore, if it was reported that a public leader and Member of this august House made a speech and made a personal attack on the Minister or Member of this House, is whether that amounts to breach of privilege. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the second question there is much to be said this way or that way and we will have to go through all the conventions and also the question of public relations between the leaders  and the Members of this legislature and the public as it exists in India and in this State. So, I would therefore, so far as the second question is concerned, submit that perhaps it may be best left to the Privilege Committee.

*Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the procedure and according to the statement of the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, he has suggested that this matter be referred to the Privileges Committee. And if I am not mistaken, there have been as many as two or three privilege motions which had already been referred to the Privileges Committee and the Privilege Committee, as it stands today, perhaps is overburdened with these privilege motions.

Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that according to parliamentary decorum and procedure, the Committee cannot be criticized inside the House?

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean to say that the Committee is only overburdened, I am not criticising. Mr. Speaker Sir, pending the findings of the Committee I would like to impress upon the suggestions made by Prof. M.N. Majaw that the gallery pass of the editor and publisher of this paper should be suspended.

Mr. Speaker :- For the information of the House, apart from this motion, there are two other motions of breach of privilege against the same editor, publisher and printer and since the other cases appear to be inter-related I reserve my ruling on this till the other remaining cases are taken up. Let us now come to the next item of today's list of business.


CALLING ATTENTION

Shri Stalington David Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Minister for Law to the news item published in the Assam Tribune  dated 19th November, 1972 under the caption, "2 dead bodies found on the bridge at Shillong". Sir, on the night of the 19th November, 1972, I was informed by some persons that 2 dead bodies were found on the Mawlai bridge. Being one of the Headmen of the locality, I rushed to the Police Outpost in that nearby place. Soon after, I went there with some of my friends and we found 2 dead bodies lying on the middle of the bridge. When we arrived there it was very surprising that no Police Investigating Officers could be found anywhere around that place despite the fact that the I.G.P. of Assam himself, had already informed the Police about the occurrence. It is therefore, essential that the Police Investigating Officer, should, without taking the least delay, rush to the scene of the occurrence. Because as Investigating Officers they are required to collect information to meet with the people and ask questions there. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very essential for the Police Officers to try their level best to arrive at the scene of occurrence as early as possible. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on that very night when I and other people had been there, there is nobody on the spot. After having waited for 20 minutes or so, we have to telephone the Police officer again. We have to remind him that we have been waiting for him for about 20 minutes and that he has yet arrived at the scene of the incident. One point we made clear to the officer incharge of the Police Station to please try to bring a doctor with them because we have doubts. We were not sure whether the persons lying dead over the bridge, were dead or still alive. The Police Officer at least, had agreed to do that. He said over the telephone that the Police Investigating Officers are coming towards the scene and asked us to wait until they come. Ultimately, when they came they did not bring any doctor with them to check up whether the two persons lying there on the bridge are dead or still alive, and that they require some help. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while bringing this Call Attention Notice, my intention is not to attack the belated arrival of the Police on the scene. But I would like to make it clear to the Government through you, Sir, that on enquiry made by the Police Officer, it was reported to as that the poor Police Constables had to walk on foot from the Beat House down to Mawlai bridge and that is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, they were delayed in their arrival at the scene of occurrence. We agreed to this, I have already made a speech on this during the last budget session and I would again impress upon the Government through this Calling Attention Notice to see that the Police should form a combination of 2 or 3 Beat Houses and that their vehicles should be commonly used by any of the Beat Houses especially during emergency. If that could be done, the vehicles could be supplied to the Investigating Officers immediately after receipt of the information, so that the officer concerned could immediately rush to the scene of occurrence, and obviate any difficulty on the part of the officers who take up investigations. This, in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is very essential for the Investigating Officers.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully reciprocate to what the hon. Member from Mawlai has stated in regard to the tragic incident happened on the night of 19th November 1972. Apart from the unexpected delay by the Police to arrive at the scene of occurrence, which is definitely very undesirable, my intention of bringing this Call Attention Notice is to bring home to the Government another fact. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the place on which this incident, the tragic incident in which two precious souls, teenagers, lost their lives is the place which from time to time these tragic incidents have been occurring. From the past, I remember, many such incidents took place in this particular spot, especially the motor accidents. There are instances of people being killed and injured. The place has become a nightmare for the pedestrians. So far as we are concerned, as the Hon. Member from Mawlai has stated, it will be sufficient for the Government to understand our feeling. I would like also to bring home, through you, Sir, to the Government one very important factor why these incidents had occurred from time to time. The reason is not far to seek. The bridge is too narrow and due to the narrowness of this bridge many cases of accidents had happened. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the main road is the National Highway and it is not wise for the Government to put a bridge of that size. I think it is right and proper to move the Government for a second bridge or have the bridge extended in this place to avoid those miserable happenings in future, with these words I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- May I request the Minister to reply?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 17th November, 1972 at 9.20 P.M. a telephonic information was received at the Shillong Police Station that two persons were lying on the Mawlai bridge on the Shillong-Gauhati National Highway, one of whom appeared to be dead with injuries. This information was then entered in the General Diary bearing Entry No. 818 of 17th November, 1972.

        Immediately D.S.P. (City), Shillong, D.S.P. (Hq), Asstt. Commandant, Meghalaya Police Bn., who was Sector Officer of Garikhana Area, City Inspector, Shillong, Circle Inspector and the Sub-Inspector of Police immediately rushed to the place of occurrence and took up local investigation. On arrival at the above place of occurrence, two dead bodies of some unknown young persons were found lying on the middle of the Mawlai bridge, near the western side railing of the bridge. The Investigating Officer and the other officers carefully examined the place of occurrence to detect any foreign materials but nothing was found. The Investigating Officer then held inquest over the dead bodies in the presence of witnesses available then. Up to that time, nobody could identify the dead bodies. During the inquest, an indistinct tyre mark was seen on the shirt of the deceased, later identified as Nirihum Syiem, son of Shri Collison Marwein of Jaiaw, aged about 20 years and there was a pool of blood under the dead bodies. Both the bodies had severe head injuries and fresh brain particles were found sticking on the railings of the Bridge nearest the heads of the two persons. A fresh scratch mark was also found on the iron railings of the Bridge near the dead bodies. There was no wheel mark or skid mark at the place of occurrence. One cloth bag was found lying near the dead bodies. After the inquest, under the direct supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspectors at the spot, the Investigating Officer sent the dead bodies to the Civil Hospital for Post Mortem Examination. At the Civil Hospital, Shillong the dead bodies were identified by the relatives the next morning. The bodies belonged to -

        (1) Nirihum Syiem, son of Shri C. Marwein of Jaiaw, aged about 20 years.

        (2) Holude Kharmih, son of Shri M.C. Tariang of Jaiaw aged about 19 years.

        During investigation, it came out that the occurrence took place about 8.30 p.m. on 17th November, 1972. The above boys went to the house of Shri T. Syiem of Mawlai, who is the uncle of the deceased Kirihum Syiem, at about 7.30  p.m. and were returning to Jaiaw at about 8.30 p.m. Since there was no eye-witness to the fatal accident, it appears from circumstances that it was a case of motor accident. In spite of efforts on the part of the Investigating Officer and the Gazetted Police Officers, no trace could be found of the vehicle and the culprit/culprits responsible for the unfortunate fatal accident so far. The investigation is still going on.

        Mawlai bridge is situated just on the outskirts of Shillong town and is on the National Highway connecting the State Capital with Gauhati Town and the vehicular traffic is quite heavy. The bridge is quite narrow. There is also no electric light on the bridge. To prevent recurrence of such accidents, the Police have taken up the matter with the Shillong Municipality to provide immediately lights on the above bridge and also on the Umshyrpi bridge. Traffic Police has also been posted at Mawlai bridge on both sides during the peak hours after this unfortunate accident. The proposal for widening of this bridge and other narrow bridges on the National Highway has been taken up by our P.W.D. with the Government of India - and pending the Government of India's action in this matter, a foot-path bridge is being constructed and the construction work has already started.


Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to next item.

Ratification of Amendments to the Constitution 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to Clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be moved by the Constitution (Thirtieth Amendment) Bill, 1972 as pass by the two Houses of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now the Minister may clarify the contents of this amendment Bill.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the purpose of this amendment was simply to modify the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the value of the subject matter of dispute. So far there were certain limitations to appeal to the Supreme Court from the High Court's judgments. That means, the High Court has to certify that the value of  the subject matter of dispute is above Rs.20,000 or equivalent thereof. Now with this amendment it is sought that the restriction of value for appeal to the Supreme Court should be remove and both the houses of Parliament have passed the amendment to this effect.

Mr. Speaker :- Since there is no one who would like to take part in the discussion, I put the question before the House. The question is that this House ratifies the amendment to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, proposed to be moved by the Constitution (Thirtieth Amendment) Bill, 1972, as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

(The Motion was carried)

        Let us now pass on to the next item in today's list of business.


Government Bill

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Modification) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Modification) Bill, 1972. The motion is carried. Leave is granted.

        Before I ask the Minister, Finance to introduce the Bill, I will read the message from the Governor.

        "I recommend under Article 207 (1) of the Constitution of India the introduction of Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Modification) Bill, 1972 in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Raj Bhavan,

Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

Shillong.

GOVERNOR."

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Modification) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that Meghalaya Taxation Laws (Modification) Bill, 1972 be introduced.

(The Motion was carried)

(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Court Fees (Meghalaya First Amendment) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Court Fees (Meghalaya First Amendment) Bill, 1972. The Motion is carried and leave is granted. Before I call upon the Minister, Finance to introduce the Court Fees (Meghalaya First Amendment) Bill, 1972, let me read a message from the Governor.

MESSAGE 

"Raj Bhavan,

Shillong.

    I recommend under Article 207 (1) of the Constitution of India the introduction of   Court Fees (Meghalaya First Amendment) Bill, 1972 in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

GOVERNOR."

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Court Fees (Meghalaya First Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is carried.

    (The Secretary, Legislative Assembly, read out the title of the Bill).

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972. The motion is carried and leave is granted.

        Before I call upon the Minister, Finance to introduce the Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, let me read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan,

Shillong.

        I recommend under Article 207 (1) of the Constitution of India the introduction of  the  Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1973 in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

GOVERNOR."

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Indian Stamp (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is carried. The Bill is introduced.

(The Secretary, Legislative Assembly read out the title of the Bill).

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation (Second Amendment) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation (Second Amendment) Bill, 1972. The Motion is carried. Leave is granted.

        Now before I call upon the Minister, Finance to introduce the Meghalaya (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation (Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, let me read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan,

Shillong.

        I recommend under Article 207 (1) of the Constitution of India the introduction of  the Meghalaya (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation (Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

GOVERNOR."

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation (Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, be introduced. The motion is carried. The Bill is introduced.

(The Secretary, Legislative Assembly read out the title of the Bill).

Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Court Fees (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Court Fees (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972. The motion is carried. Leave is granted.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon the Minister Finance to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Court Fees (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, let me read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan,

Shillong.

        I recommend under Article 207 (1) of the Constitution of India the introduction of  the  Court Fees (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972, in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU

GOVERNOR."

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Court Fees (Meghalaya Second Amendment) Bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is carried. The Bill is introduced.

(The Secretary, Legislative Assembly read out the title of the Bill).

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to the next item of today's business. Shri Maham Singh.


Motions

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the motion that this Assembly do now discuss the statement made by the Chief Minister in the House on the 30th November, 1972 relating to the Indira Gandhi University Bill, that the Bill as changed and presented now in the Parliament will not be acceptable to Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Before Mr. Maham Singh begins his discussion, may I request the hon. Members to let me know how many of them would like to participate? Of course I have received the names from the Ruling Party.

        (Prof. M.N. Majaw and Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh rose in their seats to indicate their willingness to participate in the discussion)

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, a few days ago there was demonstration by the students in front of the Assembly protesting against the Bill for the Indira Gandhi University. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the students were protesting against the Bill as presented in Parliament. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Hon'ble Chief Minister, yesterday made a statement on the floor of this august House that there have been changes in the Draft Bill sent to Parliament from the original Draft Bill. The Hon'ble Chief Minister has stated that changes have been made without the knowledge of the Meghalaya Government. He has also mentioned in his statement that our Government has taken a serious view that there have been drastic changes in the Bill for the University proposed to be established in the North Eastern Region and that our Government has therefore felt it necessary to inform the Government of India that the University Bill should be in the form conceived in the Original Draft Bill. The Bill now presented in Parliament is not acceptable to Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we consider that this matter has caused a grave concern to all sections of the population of the State, especially to the student community and we feel that the agitation and demonstration that had been launched by the students outside the Assembly is not without  any justification. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Budget Session we had passed a Resolution welcoming the establishment of this Hill University in our Meghalaya State. Many of the hon. Members have expressed that the establishment of this University is most urgently required by the people of Meghalaya and other areas of this North Eastern Region. The need for this University is greater at present because the University with which our colleges are affiliated, have now switched over to the medium of instruction to their regional language. This causes great hardship to our students and, therefore, when in the Budget Session there was a motion or resolution that the Central University should be established in this area, we welcomed it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we felt that the establishment of this University will cater to the needs of all sections of the people of our State. When the University, under which the present Colleges are affiliated, switch over the medium of instruction to their own regional language, the people who will be most adversely affected will be the tribals of the north-eastern region, that is the people of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and also the tribal people living in the present State of Assam. This University is actually required to meet the needs of these people because it will be very difficult for them to adopt themselves to the regional language of Assam as the medium of instruction. Therefore, during the Budget Session this resolution had been passed for the establishment of this University and the State of Assam also under Article 252 of the Constitution had passed a similar resolution. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to understand properly the aims and objects for which we demanded establishment of this University, I will read out the resolution which we have adopted in the Budget Session - "Whereas in response to the demand of the Representatives in Parliament of the Hill Areas of North East India, the Government of India have decided to set up a Central University to cater to the needs of the people of the Hills Areas of the North Eastern India; and it is expedient that necessary legislation in this regard is passed by the Parliament and ;

        Whereas the subject "Education including Universities" falls within entry 11 of List II - State List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and, as such a resolution is necessary by Legislatures of two or more States as provided in Clause (i) of Article 252 of the Constitution of India to empower Parliament to legislate on this Subject, and; 

        Whereas the Legislative Assembly of Assam has already passed such resolution;

        Now, therefore, this Assembly hereby resolves that for setting up of a Central University for the North Eastern Region of India, the Parliament may pass the requisite Legislation".

        In this resolution that has been adopted by this House, we have specifically mentioned that the primary object of this University is to cater to the needs of the people of the Hill Areas in the North East India. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is actually the hill people of the North Eastern India who needed most the establishment of this University today. I do not know of course, most probably our Government had been taken into confidence at the time of drafting of the Bill. It seems that later when certain changes were made at the time of introducing the Bill in the Parliament, it was done without consulting our Government. I do not know of course whether drafting was also made without joint consultation between the Central Government and our Government. Yesterday only I received a copy of the Bill. I have gone through the Bill very hurriedly and I have not been able to scrutinize it properly. But when we read the Bill as presented in the Parliament, we find that material changes actually have been made from the resolution that was adopted by this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Bill or in the preamble it is nowhere mentioned for whose benefit this University is going to be established. It is not mentioned specially that it will be for the benefit more particularly of the Hill people of the North Eastern region. It has simply been mentioned that it is for the benefit of the people of the North-Eastern Region. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the real intention of  our resolution was that this University will be established especially for the benefit of the Hill people of the North Eastern Region. No doubt it will be for the benefit of all sections of the people but more particularly for the tribal people living in the North Eastern India. In the preamble this intention should not have been completely left out, but it should be mention that the primary intention of this University will be to cater to the needs of the tribal people of this region.

        We come to the next paragraph of the Bill where we find that two States have already adopted the Resolution for the setting up of this University. It reads - "And whereas in pursuance of Clause (1) of Article 252 of the Constitution, resolutions have been passed by the Legislatures of the States of Assam and Meghalaya to the effect that the setting up of a Central University for the North-Eastern region shall be regulated by Parliament by law;" We find that the two States, which have adopted the resolution under Article 252 of the Constitution are Assam and Meghalaya. We come next to the extent and commencement of the Act. With regard to the extent, it has been mentioned - "It extends, in the first instance, to the State of Assam and Meghalaya and the Union Territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram; and shall also extend to such of the following States, namely, the State of Nagaland, the State of Manipur and the State of Tripura, as may adopt this Act by a resolution passed in that behalf in pursuance of clause (1) of Article 252 of the Constitution.

        It shall come into force in a State or Union Territory to which it extends, or may become in future, on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States or Union Territories". Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection I want to say that with regard to education, I feel that the extent of territorial jurisdiction of the University should not be confined to any particular State or any particular territory. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that knowledge imparted by University should be universal. It should extend even beyond the territories of the North Eastern Region and it may be necessary and it will be better also if students from other parts of India and even from other places, are admitted into this University, but there must be some privileges, safeguards and protections for the tribal people of the North Eastern Region of our country. We should bring the best people also in order to impart education in this University, but it must be subjected to certain safeguards and protection. We must meet first the needs and interest of the people for whom the University has been primarily set up. In the proposed University we must first meet the need and interest of the tribal people of this North Eastern Region. It has been mentioned in the Bill with regard to the object that - "The objects of the University shall be to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in such branches of learning as it may deem fit; to pay special attention to the improvement of the social and economic conditions and welfare of the people of the North Eastern Region and, in particular, their intellectual, academic and cultural advancement." Here also, in defining the object for which the University is being set up, it is not mentioned that it is more particularly for imparting higher education to the tribal people of the North eastern Region. Then we come to the  next para, that is para 6 of the Bill. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the jurisdiction of  the University, we find that - "The jurisdiction of the University shall, in the first instance, extend to the State of Assam and Meghalaya, and the Union territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram; and its jurisdiction shall also extend to such of the States, referred to in sub-section (2) of section 1, as may adopt this Act by a resolution passed in that behalf in pursuance of clause(1) of Article 252 of the Constitution. No College or institution situated within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the University shall compulsorily be affiliated to the University, and affiliation shall be granted by the University only to such Colleges or Institutions as may agree to accept the Statues and Ordinances.

        Any College or Institution admitted to the privileges of the University shall cease to be associated with or be admitted to the privileges of, any other University." Now with regard to jurisdiction, I had already mentioned that is must not  be based on territorial jurisdiction but any college attaining a certain standard and willing to become affiliated to the university wherever it is situated, may be affiliated. That would have been a more correct approach.

Mr. Speaker :- It is not a fact that each University must have its own territorial jurisdiction. It is true as you said that students of one part may seek admission in other part of territorial university. However, the College is always based on territory and not on any other consideration.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,  there are also Universities which are not confined to any particular territory. I passed the Senior Cambridge examination. Cambridge University conducts examinations in all countries of the world. Oxford University and other Universities are also universal. 

Mr. Speaker :- I am speaking of Indian University and not of Oxford University, Harvard University or any other Universities anywhere.

(laughter)

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is my feeling. We should look to the best Universities of the world and we expect that this University will also be universal, in nature. A College coming to a particular standard may be affiliated to this University. What I mean to say is that the jurisdiction of the proposed University should not be confined to North Eastern area only, its jurisdiction should be extended to other places also.

        Now with regard to the administration and control of the University we should see that this should be in the hands of the people, the people for whom the University was intended to be. Now if the administration and control of the University are not allowed to be in the hands of the people of this area, the very aims and objects of setting up of a University will be defeated. In the present Bill which has been introduced in the Parliament it has been mentioned with regard to the office bearers that there will be one Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Deans of Schools, the Registrar and the Finance Officer, etc. And about the authorities of the University, it has been stated in the Bill that the Court, the Executive Council, the Academic Council and the Boards of Schools will be the authorities of the University. Now in the formation of these Councils and the Executive Bodies, we find that there is no provision for giving preference to the people from this region. The people of this area, i.e., the Scheduled Tribes of North Eastern area, should be taken more as members of these Councils and Executive Bodies. There should be a specific provision in the Bill that a certain percentage of the members of these Councils and Executive Bodies should be taken from the Scheduled Tribes of the North Eastern Region so that they may be able to control satisfactorily this University of the North Eastern  region including Assam. I say Assam because there are quite a number of Scheduled Tribe communities living in Assam, viz. Miris, Kacharis, Mikirs, etc., who will also find difficulty if the regional language is adopted as the medium of instruction in the Universities of Assam. As I said, this has been a matter of grave concern and unless we have a University of our own; we will face many difficulties. Now it appears that Assam has withdrawn its earlier resolution.

Mr. Speaker :- No, it has not been withdrawn. Perhaps it will be withdrawn.

Shri Maham Singh :- In any case, I would like to request the Government to take up the matter more actually of setting up of a University for our students by the State if the Central University takes too long or is not acceptable. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon any other hon. Member to participate in the discussion, I would request them to try to make their speeches as short, precise and clear as possible and also to limit themselves within 7 minutes. Now I would request Prof. Warjri. 

Prof. A. Warjri (Mawkhar S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this discussion on the statement made by the Chief Minister yesterday. Mr. Maham Singh has already stressed the very urgency for a University especially in view of the fact that Assamese has been made the sole medium of instruction in the Universities of Assam. Although English is allowed to continue for some time our students will be in a very disadvantageous position since other students from plains will appear their examination in Assamese, and our student will have to do their examination  in English, which is a foreign language. Anyway we must have the University before the next academic session for the benefit of our students. In the second part of the statement made by the Chief Minister, it has been mentioned that the Bill was forwarded to the Government of India by Prof. G.G. Swell, the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha. It is really a matter of great regret that Assam got the Bill earlier than our own Government whereas the University is meant for the hill areas. In fact a Committee of three was formed for the purpose on the recommendation of the Government of Meghalaya one of the members is its representative. I do not understand why Assam should get the Bill before the Government of Meghalaya. Then secondly, I would like to stress especially on two points, viz. the jurisdiction and the principles and objectives of this University. Some time back, in this very Assembly we have passed a resolution for enabling the Government of India to pass legislation for the establishment of this University and at the very beginning of the resolution it was clearly mentioned that it was to serve or to cater to the needs of Hills people of the North Eastern region. But on receiving this Bill, that is now being introduced in the Parliament, we find that it is a clear betrayal of the aspirations of the Hills people. We find that, first of all, the name itself had been changed from the Indira Gandhi Hill University, as propose into the Indira Gandhi University. Now, Sir, the people might say "What's in a name; a rose is a rose". But here there is a significance in the name. Now especially, the word 'Hill' should be there. We understand that there is objection from the Members of Parliament regarding the name of Indira Gandhi being the name to be given to this University. Any name would be welcomed, say, the Shillong University or the Central University but the word 'Hill' should be there. The second point is with regard to the jurisdiction. As far as we know in the first Draft Bill prepared by the Drafting Committee the jurisdiction "shall extend to all colleges and certain institutions located in States like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and the Union Territories like Mizoram and the North Cachar District of Assam. But as it appears in this Bill, this proposed University's jurisdiction seems to have been extended to other parts or rather to the whole of the north eastern region. It is categorically stated here that it "shall extend to Assam and to Tripura". I fail to understand why it should be extended to Assam when Assam has already got two Universities. My reading is this that was specially provided in order to solve the language problem of Assam.

Mr. Speaker :- But Assam is opposed to the jurisdiction of this University.

Prof. A. Warjri :- Yes, Sir. But it seems that some parts of Assam disagreed with the language policy of the Assam Government, and the Central Government, in order to solve the controversy, has included the entire State where as it is actually meant for those areas which do not agree to the medium of instruction that has been passed in the Assembly of Assam. Sir I do not know whether this language problem of Assam is to be solved only at the expense of the Hills people. Then also with regard to the objectives. Of course, once we change the jurisdiction then the other consequentials follow. The objective of the University, as it is in the Bill, is for the upliftment of the Hills people in order to serve or cater to the needs of the Hills people of the North Eastern region.

Mr. Speaker :- More particularly the members of the Scheduled Castes. That is in the original draft bill.

Prof. A. Warjri :- I appreciate very much the statement of the Chief Minister that he made in the House yesterday.

        (Bell rang)

        I appreciate very much the telegram that had been sent to the Central Government in which he had categorically stated that this Bill, as has been presented in the Parliament, is not acceptable to the people of Meghalaya and that he had requested that the Bill be modified to conform to the original Bill, i.e., the Bill as presented by the Drafting Committee.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Khongwir.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the discussion on the motion moved  by the hon. Member from Mawprem. At the very outset, I must express my feeling and sense of envy to the hon. Member from Mawprem on two things. The first thing is that, as mover, he had about 25 minutes to speak on the motion and the second thing is that he was turning to different pages of the Bill itself. Whereas, I for one did not have a copy of the bill, although it was made clear yesterday, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that copies of the Bill are made available to the leaders of the group and up till now we have not been able to receive the copies of the Bill as introduced in the Parliament. Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the statement made by the Hon'ble Chief Minister yesterday, this is a matter of urgent public importance and, at the same time, it is also a matter of recent occurrence. The Hon'ble Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has stated that this is a continuing process from 1964 onwards. I beg to differ from him. This is a matter of recent occurrence for, otherwise, it could not have come in this Assembly for discussion on the motion. At the same time, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a particular and definite matter which requires instant remedy and that is why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have seen here, in one paragraph, that the Government has already sent a telegram to the Government of India that the University in the form conceived now in the Parliament will not be acceptable to Meghalaya. And on top of this the Hon'ble Chief Minister has already announced, in his statement, that he is himself going to Delhi on the second of December to pursue the matter. Mr. Speaker, Sir,  before I come to the main point, in so far as this particular Bill as introduced in the Parliament is concerned, I would like to state a few facts or opinions of my own in  regard to the statement of the Chief Minister. From the fact, as stated here in the statement of the Chief Minister, I am sorry to say that it has compelled me to disagree with the contention of the Hon'ble Chief Minister that they had not been intimated earlier or rather that the Government of Meghalaya had no knowledge of the various basic changes that had been made in this Bill when introduced in the Parliament on the 16th of last month. It is said here in the second paragraph that it was only four days ago, it was on the 26th of last month that the Chief Minister received a copy of the Bill from our representative, Prof. G.G. Swell, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also mentioned here that on 21st instant, that is, 21st of November, our representative, Prof. G.G. Swell was meticulous in getting the information relating to the name of the University and giving a ring to the Chief Minister to say that the name is going to be changed. But in regard to the most important aspects of this change in the Bill, the representative there failed to inform.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Whether, it is desirable to criticise the gentleman, who cannot defend himself inside the House?

Mr. Speaker :- It is unparliamentary to criticise the gentleman especially when he cannot defend himself inside the House.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- It is not me who brought the name of the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. It is the Chief Minister who brought the name. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has occurred to my mind that the Government came to know earlier and had there not been a students agitation on the 29th of last month, I think the Government would have still slept over the matter.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That is a matter of opinion.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- That is my opinion. It is very clear as clear as the day, that owing to this demonstration of the students that the Government has been awaken. Mr. Speaker, Sir, since I have another five minutes, I would like to come to the most important points. I really appreciate the decision taken by the Government in sending this telegram to the Government of India to this effect. The Government of Meghalaya have therefore, found it necessary to inform the Government of India that the University as conceived in the Bill which is before in Parliament will not be acceptable to Meghalaya. They have sent a telegram to the Union Education Minister to this effect. My humble and earnest appreciation of the prompt action taken by the Government in this regard. But I would like to disagree with the approach of the Government to this question that they have requested the Education Minister to amend the Bill suitably so as to conform to concept of the University for the hill people. My point in saying this Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that when we have taken this decision, let us tell the Government of India in our Meghalayan style of English straight away that the Government of Meghalaya is "No like this Bill, drop it". (Laughter).

Shri D.D. Pugh :- The hon. Member is underestimating himself.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- We have been exchanging for the last few years a lot of arguments with the Government of India and I would like to impress upon the Government that if we can pursue the matter with the Government of India, let us go to the Government of India not with any idea of bargaining. Let us just go and tell the Government of India that the Bill in this form is not acceptable to us and that the University is the immediate need of the hill people of this eastern region. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, to this Bill in its present form (Bell rang) as has been introduced in the Parliament cannot be acceptable to us. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the news item which appeared in the "Assam Tribune" with regard to Assam being excluded from the jurisdiction of the Bill. It is written here as such. The Union Government, it is learnt, have given up their mind to delete the State of Assam and this will ultimately bring to a constitutional difficulty. Therefore, Sir, if we cannot have more than one State, if now Assam will back out from their previous resolution my humble suggestion is to move the Government of India to give us a hundred per cent assistance, so that we can start and build up our own State University. So, with these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Prof. P.G. Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while participating in the discussion on the statement made by the Chief Minister, I would like to make a few observations. First of all, during the Budget Session, we were very happy that a resolution was brought to this august House to be discussed and passed on the establishment of a Central Hills University here in Shillong. Well, at that time, almost all the Speakers who had participated were of one mind that the Hills University be set up here to meet the needs and interests of the tribal people of the North Eastern Region. I must congratulate the Government for the active work which they have undertaken to see that our Government is taken into confidence by the Central Government in the Drafting Committee of this Bill because, it is from our State that a representative was taken in the Drafting Committee and we know that with our own representative there in the Drafting Committee the interests of the tribals, for whom the university is meant, will be protected. So our minds and hearts rest assured that this will be done. But unfortunately, our hopes were shattered when we see the Bill was introduced in the Parliament. 

Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean the hopes were shattered or belied?

Prof. P.G. Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, our hopes were both shattered and belied when the Bill was introduced in Parliament. It seems that from the statement made by the Chief Minister, there are deviations right from the beginning, that is, deviation of the original draft Bill from the actual Bill introduced in Parliament and as such, I for one, am of the opinion that this Bill as introduced in Parliament would not meet the interests of the tribals of the North Eastern Regions. Anyway, now that our Chief Minister is aware of all these deviations, I am sure that he will take up this matter strongly with the Government of India and see that the Bill will conform to the original Bill which was explained to the student community and the public at large by our leaders. So I would like to request our Chief Minister to take up this matter urgently because the need of a University is very important and immediate here in the Hills. Our students would face great difficulties to compete with the students from the plains because they have now the option to answer questions in their own language whereas our students will have to do so in English medium. So our Hills students are put at a disadvantage while plains students can answer in their own mother tongue. I feel that our students can be put in an advantageous position and so I request our Chief Minister who has taken up this issue right from the beginning with real earnestness to do it so more now so that the Bill will conform to the need of the people of the Hill Areas, the scheduled tribes and scheduled castes of this area and also to see that a University is set up in the near future for the Hills.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while rising to support the motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawprem, I would like to place on record the sense of gratitude towards the Hills tribal students of Shillong and also the Synkhong Kyntiew Ri or the Khasi College Teachers' Association and the well wishers for having highlighted this issue and having brought it to the forefront. Their names will be recorded in future in the history of the North Eastern Region of the Hills.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Majaw, do we have to place on record the gratitude of the cultivators from one District to another?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The gratitude is there Mr. Speaker, Sir, because had it not been for the agitation occasioned by the students of Shillong and had it not been for the press statement made by the Synkhong Kyntiew Ri, I am afraid it is my opinion of course and also the opinion of the hon. Member from Mawlai, that perhaps the Government would not have come forward with such a categorical statement nor would not have agreed to allow the motion to be moved from the Opposition benches. I am sorry to note Mr. Speaker, Sir, that although a few Members from the Treasury Benches have spoken, not one of them have even thought of the students of Shillong and the Synkhong Kyntiew Ri for their effort in this regard. I am at one with the hon. Member from Mawlai in pointing out to the Ruling Party at least in the presence of its M.P. in Parliament who did nothing on this Bill which was introduced in Parliament where as the responsibility lies with one of the members of the Ruling Party or whether the Government here, which is also the same authority knew or did not know about it. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, this demand for a Hill University, if my memory is right, goes back to the 24th or 25th November, 1960 when the meeting was held in the Khasi National Durbar Hall under the presidentship of Shri Sandford K. Marak, who is now Minister of the Government and there this matter of the Hills University was discussed. Later on in 1964 Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 22nd January 1964 the Government of India and the University Grants Commission sent a Committee to Shillong, "The Shillong University Committee" in which the Hills, Students' Union gave a memorandum to this Education Committee, University Committee. There is the need for setting up of a Central Hills University for Nagaland, N.E.F.A., Manipur and the hill areas of Assam in those days. But unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, establishment was not done. Several reminders were sent for the last three years after the Hill Students' Union had  submitted the memorandum. It was on the 23rd November 1964 that the reply came from the Jt. Secy, U.G.C. New Delhi saying that "the matter is under the consideration of the Government of India". Two years later i.e. 12th February 1966 we received a letter from the H.S.U. to the Ministry of Education, Government of India. Then again, on 23rd February 1966 reply was received from the Secy. U.G.C. New Delhi saying that "the matter was under consideration of the Government of India". Then again Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was on 27th July 1966 that another reply was received from Secy., U.G.C. New Delhi saying that "the matter is being dealt with by the Government of India, Ministry of Education and later on 17th November 1966 that the acknowledgement from Asstt. Educational Adviser, Ministry of Education, Government of India has been received".

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw I think you should also realise the difficulty under Article 252 Since there is no Meghalaya at that time, the Assam Assembly passed the resolution. Some other State Assemblies also passed the same and hence the Government of India cannot be blamed for that.

Prof. Marin Narayan Majaw :- I accept your observation Mr. Speaker, Sir. At the same time, even though there are constitutional provisions to this effect still it took a very long time for the University to be set up. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 1965-66, I have a copy of the annual report of the Ministry of Education. At page 52 of the Annual Report, 1965-66 it was stated that "the Committee set up jointly by the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission to consider the question of setting up of a University for  the North Eastern Region. The Government of India recommended the establishment of a Central University in Shillong to meet the requirements of higher education of the people of the hill areas of Assam, Nagaland, NEFA and Manipur. The recommendation has been accepted by the Ministries of Education, External Affairs and Home Affairs, the Planning Commission and the University Grants Commission. The State Legislative Assembly of Assam has already passed the requisite legislation". Then it will be interesting Mr. Speaker, Sir, to note what the Education Commission stated in its report of 1964-66. The report stated. ' The people in these hill areas share common economic disabilities and their remoteness and comparative inaccessibility render their problems peculiarly difficult. A great deal needs to be done to explore the economic potentialities of the area. Moreover, the people rightly feel that unless the promising local youths are trained for providing leadership in the various fields of economic and social development, their progress will remain arrested. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we read in the context of the proposed University, we will find the word 'Hills' from the title of the Bill. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this is only  the proposed intention of certain persons from somewhere. I would like to touch only one or two points and that is about the welfare and culture of the people of the hill areas of Assam that the coming University will inspire our future generation. That is how we have been able to meet in this august House as one mind and one people to pass the motion. I am grateful to the hon. Member from Mawlai who was said about the inclusion of the North Cachar and Mikir Hills in the said University and to bring these two districts within the jurisdiction of the Bill. It is a fact that Assam has a jurisdiction over these and this reminds me of the Sadhu who is roaming about here and there and who wanted to catch some ants. If he finds the nests of the ants he will catch hold of them and let them creep over his beard and make the Sadhu shouted as the ants are climbing into his beard. Now, Sir, the situation may arise in this Bill and I fear that this Bill cannot be passed in the Parliament.

        With these few words, I wholly recommend that this motion deserves the urgent attention of our Chief Minister that when he goes to Delhi on the 2nd, he may be able to try to put some modifications to the Bill as soon as possible. That could be done through constitutional provision to amend the Bill as it was done in the case of the Aligarh - Muslim University Bill and in spite of the Minister...(Bell rang)...... who is also a Government nominee at the Centre and who has expressed that the Bill needs to be amended but he has failed to do it so. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I doubt if our Chief Minister could convince the Centre for necessary modifications of this Bill. With these words, I resume my seat.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I would like to offer my gratefulness to the hon. Mover of this Motion, for the sentiment expressed by him in the statement of the motion. But then I really fail to comprehend and understand the motive of the mover on the motion before the House. He has made an astonishing statement that has shocked me much when he said that, 'University cannot be based on territories.' Well we are all here today, I think for the main purpose to bring a quick change in the provisions of Bill with a view to modifying the jurisdiction of the Bill and also the objectives. The main question here is whether this Bill of Indira Gandhi Hills University as presented in the Parliament is acceptable or not to us. Now, as we all know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the movement for having our University has been going on for so many years alongside the struggle for our Hill State. We also feel that it is necessary to have a University of our own for the Hills people. Therefore, the very concept of the University has gained ground right from 1963 during the time the Wadia Committee came to Shillong. The concept was on the basis of having a University of our own for Meghalaya and for the hills people. There is no justification at all for us to accept the present draft Bill, as it is because the provisions in the Bill have undergone transformation beyond recognition. I quite agree with the hon. Member from Mawhati when he mentioned about it. It has given to us a great shock, not to speak of resentment. It is shocking because it has happened and come in the way that we do not accept and expect. There is resentment because we know that in this matter the Government of Meghalaya has been ignored. This is a very important point. It was very unfortunate that the Bill which was presented to the Parliament on the 16th of last month came to the knowledge of the Meghalaya Government only the other day and that, too, through the good offices of Prof. G.G. Swell, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. This is very unfortunate. I would say that there is a mind in Delhi, as someone has remarked, to kill two birds with one stone. But whatever it is, I know for sure that the Government of Meghalaya had been trying  to pursue this matter. But at the present stage, there was a let down. I, however, know the seriousness with which the Government of Meghalaya had pursued and undertaken to do something in this matter. At the same time, I do agree with certain remarks made by our friends impeding motives to a party. I think on this question we should not think in terms of parties or sides - Opposition or the Treasury Benches. I believe all the hon. Members agree with me that in this we are one. I believe no one will agree to commend this Bill as presented in the Parliament. I agree with some Members who have given credit to certain associations like Syngkhong Kyntiew Ri, Shillong Students' Union and the like. They have, of course, been articulate in drawing and focusing the attention on this matter. I know at the same time that many leaders of this House deserve credit for drawing the attention of the Government to the seriousness of this matter.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The Government also took the initiative.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I quite agree and the leaders of this House also took great interest much earlier than the demonstration of the students. We have also discussed this matter on earlier occasions.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to make a few observation. On going through the Bill, I find that clause 6 dealing with the jurisdiction needs to be amended. But I do not know how far it can be done. The mover of the Motion had mentioned it last time when this matter came up in March-April Session on 5th April, 1972 when it was discussed here. Most of the Members also have made clear of their view on this very important point. It was pointed out that whatever may be the nature or framework of the University, it is important that the Government of Meghalaya must have dominant say and control in the affairs of the University. But in the present Bill, as it shows here, I do not know anything about the position of the University Court, Executive Council, Academic Council and the like. Only one thing that is certain here is that the composition and the functions will be done by a statute and that will be done at a later stage. But it should be remembered that the Executive Council is a very important body and I would suggest to the Chief Minister, when he goes to Delhi, to take up with the Government of India this point along with modification of objectives and jurisdiction of the University Bill. It will be good and proper that the composition and functions and powers of the Executive Council are made known to us. This is a very important point. Otherwise we may again be taken by surprise. I would also like to place here before the House that when the Government of Meghalaya and for that matter when the Chief Minister is going to Delhi, he is going there not only as the Chief Minister but also as the Leader of this House to bring home to the Government our case. It is important that the Government of India should consult us at every stage, namely, in the drafting of the Bill, in the amendment of the Bill and the like. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a few observations which I think are the result of what happened in the last few days. I must be frank and each one of us should be frank. One important factor is the statement made by the Chief Minister yesterday which is in line with the thinking....

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order, according to the list of business, the time for today is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Mr. Speaker :- That is a printing mistake; it should be upto 11.30 a.m.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have said, certain things have turned out in the last few days. Here from the statement made by the Chief Minister, it is very clear that the Government is seized of the problem and is quite serious. But more important here is the rare quality shown and the swiftness in decision making. The way the Government has tackled this problem has shown rare quality. The Chief Minister has already sent a telegram. Secondly, he has made a statement in the House and thirdly, I must congratulate the Chief Minister for having made a decision to go to Delhi forthwith, that is, tomorrow. This is also a very important factor and I think he will get the blessings of this House in this. I know he will be up against many difficulties but I feel that when he goes with the full support of this House he will be able to speak with a greater force and he will have a bigger say. Secondly, I would like to give a word of praise to the student community and the teacher's community which have focused attention on this very vital matter. But more important is the character of the demonstration. I must appreciate the peaceful character of the demonstration which is contrary to the expectation of some friends, specially my friend from Mawhati. 

Mr. Speaker :- Now I call upon the Chief Minister to reply.

Shri S.N. Koch (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, kindly allow me to speak in this discussion. My speech will not be lengthy. It will take two or three minutes.

Mr. Speaker :-You are allowed two minutes.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to refer to the ruling recently made by the Chair depriving me to extent my compliment to those persons mainly teachers and students who had been able to focus the attention of the Government by their peaceful demonstration outside the Assembly. The demonstration was brought about to protest against the changes made in the Bill for the proposed Indira Gandhi University to be set up here at Shillong. I also would like to express my thanks to you, Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me time to speak.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Koch, you have every right to speak but if you go on expressing your thanks, then your two minutes time will be over and you have no time to conclude your speech.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the statement of the Hon'ble Chief Minister, it is stated that the proposed Draft Bill introduced in Parliament is not acceptable to the Government of Meghalaya because of the changes made therein. But the changes in the objects of the Bill in comparison with the objects contained in the Original Draft Bill are only a word i.e., "Social" which reads "to pay special attention to the improvement of the social and economic conditions, etc.". According to the Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha which was originally drafted as "to pay special attention to the improvement of economic conditions, etc." dropping the term 'Social'. Therefore, it appears that the problem of "social" and "economic" conditions are in disagreement according to the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. Koch, it appears that you are going into the details of the Bill. Please sit down. The Chief Minister in his statement has pointed out two very important things, one is that the Bill introduced in Parliament is that the University should cater to the needs of the hill people particularly the members of Scheduled Tribes. But the Chief Minister stated, that in the Draft Bill the whole of the above purpose was not there. Secondly the Chief Minister had also pointed out the area of jurisdiction of the University. When two basic things are different, there are so many consequential changes. Therefore, Mr. Koch, it is difficult to discuss the details of the Bill. Now I call upon the Chief Minister to explain because it is better that we should be up and doing than wasting time especially now when time at our disposal is running short.

Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not received a copy of the Draft Bill in advance. We have received it just now.

Mr. Speaker :- I think I must make it clear. This Draft Bill is the property of the Government of India. Even the copy of the Bill we have here is supplied by some of our private friends and this is not the property of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. So actually it is only to help the Members that some Members of the House had cyclostyled it and it has become the public property. Anyway, I call upon the Chief Minister to reply.

*Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first instance, I would like to thank you for allowing this motion to be brought before the House, on the statement made by me yesterday. I will not deal with all the points raised by the hon. Members because I feel that there is no need for that as I have made it very clear that the Bill as introduced in the Parliament in the present form is not acceptable to this Government. It is also not necessary for me to go into the details of the Bill as I have made it very clear that there are radical changes in the very concept of this University. This matter has been gone through a number of years by various Committees and also by the Minister of Education and the Leaders of the North Eastern Region who have had occasion to discuss it as it is clearly seen from the first sentence of my statement read out on the floor of this august House by the hon. Member from Mawhati. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully agree that there is a basic deviation from the very concept of the University. I have also made it very clear that the present form of the Bill should not have been finalised and introduced in the Parliament without taking us into confidence and that I have to express an opinion that the Bill as introduced does not reflect the very concept of the University. There are hundreds of Universities in the country but the Government of India through various Commissions and Committees and also the Minister of Education have realised the need for having the University which will primarily cater to the needs of the Hill people of the North Eastern Region of India. Before the Bill was drafted this Committee has clearly specified the areas which are to be brought under the Hill University. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the present form of the Bill, you will find the areas which are recommended to be brought under the jurisdiction of this University; there are, of course, some additions made. I do not know whether it is clear on the part of the Government of India, without taking the States into confidence, to include them also. I would therefore doubt whether it will not create difficulty by trying to bring them under the jurisdiction of this University. Mr. Maham Singh read out the Preamble and contended that the preamble does not satisfy the very objective of this University catering to the needs of the Hill people of the North Eastern Region. I will give a comparative preamble of the Original Bill which was drafted along with our representatives. The preamble of the Bill as introduced in the House reads-"Whereas it is expedient to establish and incorporate teaching and affiliating University at Shillong for the benefit of the people of the North Eastern Region and to develop the intellectual, academic and cultural background of the said people". In the original draft it is agreeable to establish the teaching and disseminating University at Shillong. But this has been specified in the object; that is why I have made a statement. I must give a comparative picture of the original preamble and the preamble of the Bill as introduced in the Parliament. Now in the original Bill it had been stated that the object of the University shall be to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in such branches of learning as it may deem fit, in particular to pay special attention to the improvement of economic conditions and welfare of the people of Hill areas of the North Eastern Region and the intellectual, academic and cultural background of the people of the scheduled tribes inhabiting the area. There was, Mr. Speaker, Sir, remark of the hon. Member from Mawhati that this object, as stated in the Bill was drafted in consultation with the representatives of the Government of Meghalaya. The Government is concerned whether the Bill for the set up of the Central University conforms to the very concept which was incorporated in the original draft. This intention of the Government is very clear and I think hon. Members should not have any more doubts as to the sincerity of the Government and that we have to stick to the very concept as enunciated by the Committee. Therefore when I find that in the Bill there has been a radical change. I think I have got the strength to argue and persuade the Government of India through the various Committees to come forward to set up a University which will cater to the special needs of the Hill people of the North Eastern Region. These are the considerations which will weigh with the Government of India to bring forward some changes in the Bill. Therefore, I do not want to cast any reflection on any one including the student community and the teachers Union. In fact I will make it very clear and I would ask you to extend your co-operation to strengthen our hands. As I have said, I entirely fall in line with you in this approach because there is no room for me to disagree with you. After going through the jurisdiction I find that there a radical change and that being the position, how can I differ from the students and teachers. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as pointed out by Mr. Kyndiah, let us not just find fault but let us try to have one united strength and one definite motion. Now, the mover of the motion has expressed that the jurisdiction is not very much important and according to him, the control of the University is more important. In this connection, Mr. Kyndiah said that it should not be left to the State but it must find a specified place in the Bill itself. With regard to the function and powers and other authorities, we have further discussed and it was agreed by the Government Body in which our representative was present that it would be wiser and better to leave it to the States than the Parliament because it will be done outside the Parliament. A point was raised by Mr. Kyndiah while discussing the resolution on the subject that the Government of Meghalaya should have a dominant position in the control of the University. I would, in this connection, request the hon. Members to have a little thinking and pause for a couple of minutes.

Mr. Speaker :- May I interrupt the hon'ble Chief Minister? Since the time is running out, may I have the sense of the House to extend the sitting of the House till the Chief Minister finishes the reply or till the discussion is closed.

(Voices...........Yes, Yes.) 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Let us now under this particular background, be guided by the very concept and objective. The very concept and objective of this University was to cater to the special needs of the hills people in the North Eastern Region, and for that purpose, even if the recommendation of the Government of India is made, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, formerly N.E.F.A. and Mizoram, did not find place in Meghalaya because they come into existence later on. When we want this University to have a jurisdiction over all these territories and States including the hill areas of Assam, will it be proper for us to suggest that in the control of the University, the State of Meghalaya should have a dominant role? I put this question to you. Would it be wise for us to do so? It was for that very reason that this question should be dealt with outside the Bill through the statue. This statue would have been drafted by the Education Ministry taking us into confidence. I would, therefore, request the hon. Members through you Sir, as we will have one immediate problem for us to agree to the urgency of having a University, a University which will conform to the basic concept as recommended by the Committee based on our demand, which will go to the extent of removing the difficulties which have been brought to the House such as the medium of instruction and other difficulties. Now because of the medium difficulties as pointed out by Mr. Khongwir, the hon. Member from Mawlai, there is a proposal that the Government of Assam is going to back out. That means that the resolution which has been passed to enable the Government of India to bring forward a legislation for establishment of the Central University may be withdrawn. I have been told by the Government of India over the telephone that there is a constitutional dead-lock, unless two States pass the resolution. Under Article 252, Education being a State subject, the Government of India cannot proceed with the Bill. Some proposal came to me from the Government of India. I have rejected all these proposals and I have taken the initiative to meet this constitutional dead-lock. I think I have the permission of the House in doing so. About the original concept of the University and the jurisdiction of the University, I have contacted the Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Manipur and told them what is happening now and unless we have another State to pass the resolution, the Bill will fall through. Parliament cannot proceed any further with the Bill. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the hon. Members will appreciate this point. Unless the constitutional dead-lock or obstruction is cleared, it will be delayed for an indefinite period. We are all concerned about it. I am very happy to inform the House how this matter is being followed up. I have been assured by both the Chief Ministers - that they will come to our rescue. I will be visiting Kohima and Manipur after returning from Delhi. I will be leaving from Kohima on the 8th and Manipur on the 9th and take up this issue with them. I may also want to get the blessing of the hon. Members of this House. Therefore, it will be clear, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that everybody in this House and the students community and teachers community, want the University to give the best education which would be in the economic and social background. This aspect of the question has been recognised and realised by the Government of India. Therefore, as far as the matter is concerned, I am sure, with your co-operation and the expression in this House that I will carry will be of much help. Therefore, I do not want to lengthen my speech. This is a very simple question that we want as early as possible a University of the original concept which was to serve the people of those areas which have also been indicated in that report. With that I will leave Delhi tomorrow and with your co-operation and the strength that I will carry with me, I will be able to place our case strongly and hope that it will also be possible for us to get help from some other States, the neighbouring States, to clear the difficulties which stand on the way. I thank the hon. Members who have participated in the discussion on this Motion. In fact, I myself thought it would be good to discuss the Statement that I have made. Therefore, I want to get your help, your co-operation and your blessing, thank you.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the discussion on the Motion is closed.


Adjournment

        The House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. on Monday, the 4th December, 1972.

 

R.T. RYMBAI,
Dated Shillong : Secretary,
The 1st December, 1972. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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