It is the right of state: Stalin says on appointment of Vice Chancellorstext_fields
Chennai: "It is the right of the state government to appoint Vice Chancellors," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin asserted on Tuesday, August 30. He was addressing a meeting of VCs of state-run universities in Chennai, where he also said that the government opposed both the NEET and the National Education Policy (NEP).
Stalin, at the meeting, recalled that his government enacted a Bill in the Assembly to enable the state government to appoint Vice-Chancellors. "This is an issue related to the state government's rights. It is the right of the government elected by the people, it is related to the education rights of state universities," he said. Hence, the functioning of state-run universities and VCs should reflect the state government's policy decisions, the Chief Minister said.
Reiterating the state government's opposition to NEET, he called the national exam the 'biggest injustice' of the century. He also hit out against the contentious NEP 2020 yet again during his speech and recalled the government constituting a committee led by retired Madras High Court judge, Justice D Murugesan, to formulate the State Education Policy (SEP). This SEP is to "build a society inspired by science".
As per the Constitution, developing a scientific temper is a basic duty of every citizen. "I have that duty. As VCs, you have that duty too. It is the biggest duty of educationists to build a society that is based on the principles of equality and rationalist thoughts," he said.
On April 25, 2022, amid a standoff between the DMK government and Governor RN Ravi, the state Assembly had adopted a Bill empowering the state government to appoint Vice-Chancellors to state universities. This was seen as a move that restricts the Governor's powers as Chancellor to 13 universities in the state.
During his speech in Assembly, CM Stalin had said that the state government not having the power to appoint Vice Chancellors to the universities was "impacting higher education". " The Governor has been acting as if he has a special power in appointing VCs. This habit of not respecting the government, which has the job of providing higher education, can be seen," he said.
The Bill's passage coincided with a two-day conference of VCs presided by Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi. Recently, the Governor had appointed VCs to three state universities while the Bill awaited his assent.
The Chief Minister's assertion on the appointment of VCs also comes against the background of a run-in between the government and Raj Bhavan on matters like the anti-NEET Bill, awaiting Presidential assent.