The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday adopted yet another Bill to empower the State government to appoint the Vice-Chancellor to a State university – Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Agriculture Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam moved the Bill, which cited the Gujarat University Act, 1949; the Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) Universities Act, 1991; and the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000, and sought to empower the State to appoint the Vice-Chancellor to the university.
Earlier, the government moved Bills to empower itself to appoint the Vice-Chancellors to 13 State universities under the Higher Education Department, Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University and Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University. All of them were adopted by the House.
Currently, the Governor is the Chancellor of State universities, and appoints the Vice-Chancellors from a panel of three names recommended by a selection committee. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin contended in the Assembly last month, “During the past four years, there has been a trend in which the Governor, without consulting the State government, is functioning as if he had the exclusive right to the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.”
The government could not appoint Vice-Chancellors to universities under its control and this affected their administration, he said. “The State government’s inability to appoint the Vice-Chancellors to universities under its control has led to confusions. It is against the ideals of democracy,” he said, citing the recommendations of the Punchchi Commission on the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.