Tamil Nadu opposes proposed NCHER

tate Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy said NCHER infringed on the State’s rights on education.

tate Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy said NCHER infringed on the State’s rights on education.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

The Tamil Nadu government has opposed the Centre’s proposed National Council for Higher Education and Research, terming it an “infringement” on the State’s rights.

State Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy said NCHER “infringed on the State’s rights on education.”

Dravidar Kazhagam, the parent body of DMK, and PMK have also opposed the proposed NCHER.

The government’s views were conveyed to the Task Force set up by the Union HRD Ministry to elicit the opinion of the states, when it met officials here this week.

Noting that the implementation of a uniform education system as envisaged by the NCHER was not possible in a country with different languages, Mr. Ponmudy said the proposed body was “opposed to the basic concept of unity in diversity.”

He has demanded that education be moved back to the State List from the Concurrent List.

The State government is also opposed to the idea of having a registry of academicians eligible for appointment as Vice-Chancellors, saying it would result in practical problems. “After it was moved to Concurrent List, education has became a commercial activity, with private interests playing a larger role,” Mr. Ponmudy said, adding this was reflected in the deemed universities issue.

However, the task force has disagreed with the view that the NCHER would infringe on the rights of the State or interfere with its autonomy. Rather it would only lay down norms and ensure these were met by the universities and give them a greater say in granting affiliation, task force members said.

M. Ananthakrishnan, former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University and a member of the task force, said, “NCHER will not interfere with the state’s autonomy but lay down norms and ensure that the universities fulfilled them.”

On Mr. Ponmudy’s objection to the registry of prospective Vice-Chancellors, Mr. Ananthakrishnan said it will help eliminate “political and financial manipulations”, in an apparent reference to alleged political interference and corruption in VCs’ appointment.

The state government is also opposed to the HRD Ministry’s move for a nationwide Common Entrance Test (CET). The DMK government had abolished the CET a few years ago with a view to benefit rural students.

The DMK has the backing of Dravidar Kazhagam, floated by Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, in its opposition to the NCHER.

DK President K. Veeramani said the nationwide CET proposed by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was against social justice and rural students. He suggested that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi take the initiative for a consensus among like-minded Chief Ministers and political parties to thwart the NCHER.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder leader Dr. S. Ramadoss had also opposed the move and described it as an infringement on the State’s rights.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 4:49:12 AM |

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