State Government Lacks Power To Appoint Vice-Chancellors: CM MK Stalin

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government introduced a bill in the Assembly today to take over the Governor’s ability to select vice-chancellors to universities, with Chief Minister M K Stalin using the state’s powers in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, as an example.

Governor R N Ravi opened a two-day conference of vice-chancellors of state, central, and private institutions at Ooty on the day the bill was introduced.

Chief Minister Stalin commented on the bill, saying that the state government’s lack of power to designate vice-chancellors had an impact on higher education in the state.

“By convention, the Governor appoints vice-chancellors in consultation with the state government, but in the last four years, a new trend has emerged – Governors acting as if it’s their prerogative,” he said, adding that this “disrespects the elected government” and is “contrary to the philosophy of people’s rule.”

The current method, according to the Chief Minister, causes “confusion” in university administration.

Mr Stalin also cited a 2010 report on center-state relations by a group headed by former Chief Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, which recommended that the Governor be removed from his position as chancellor of universities.

“Even In Prime Minister’s (Narendra Modi) state Gujarat, one of the three candidates recommended by the state government’s search committee is appointed vice-chancellor,” Mr Stalin said.

Opposition parties AIADMK and the BJP have although, opposed the legislation.

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