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TN for removal of Governor’s powers in appointing Vice Chancellors

- January 7, 2022

Chennai, Jan 7 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu government under M.K. Stalin is to bring in a resolution in the legislative assembly during the March session to remove the powers conferred on the Governor of the state to appoint Vice Chancellors.

The state higher education minister, K. Ponmudi in the assembly on Thursday said that the power to appoint VCs rests with the government in several states of Kerala. He said that in Gujarat the power to appoint VC’s is with the state government since 1949 and that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was consulting legal experts regarding the same.

Sources in the DMK told BPNS that the government will table a resolution in the state assembly in March to confer the powers to appoint VCs with the state government.

The higher education minister, K. Ponmudi also pointed out that in West Bengal and Kerala there are controversies with respect to the posting of VCs and that this could be minimal if this power vests with the state government.

However, this has met with stiff resistance from the academic community of the state. Former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, Dr. E. Balaguruswamy while speaking to BPNS said, “This would lead to appointments of VCs with a political colour and there are possibilities of untoward influences determining these appointments. Governor is a non-political person and was given the powers of chancellor to have transparency in the system.”

He also said that the quality of higher education will be compromised once political influence comes to play in the appointments of Vice-Chancellors.

Dr. Mohan Chandrakumar, Retired Professor with a foreign university and hailing from Madurai while speaking to BPNS said, “Removing the power of Governor in Vice-Chancellor postings will reduce the quality of higher education as this would lead to blatant politicisation of the universities and that is not a good thing in a situation wherein quality of education and cutting edge academic curriculum is necessary for a foothold among global academics.” He said that being an apolitical person, the Governor of the state is the right person to hold the post of Chancellor of the universities of the state and involve in appointments of Vice-Chancellors.

It may be noted that in Kerala, the present Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is engaged in a war of words with the state government over the extension given to the Vice-Chancellor of Kannur university and this has led to the Governor publicly stating that he is quitting the post of Chancellor of the universities of Kerala.