Tamil Nadu

Most TN universities do not have fulltime officers in key posts

As on date, 14 universities in the State, including Anna University, besides law and teacher education universities, function without a full-time registrar

As on date, 14 universities in the State, including Anna University, besides law and teacher education universities, function without a full-time registrar

Many State universities are currently functioning with in-charge registrars and controllers of examinations (CoE).

The Vice-Chancellor, registrar and the CoE, are the three most important officers of a university. Senior educators say in most State universities neither the registrar nor the CoE post has been duly filled as mandated by University Grants Commission norms.

As on date, 14 universities in the State, including Anna University, besides law and teacher education universities, function without a full-time registrar. In 12 universities the controller of examination post is being held by a professor as an in-charge post. At the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, as per its website, there is no CoE post. Only the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, and the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University have appointed a regular registrar and a CoE. Except for the medical university, veterinary and law university, all other universities have an in-charge CoE.

“These are pivotal posts in the University system effectively supporting the V-C in discharging day-to-day functions,” explained S.P. Thyagarajan, former V-C of the University of Madras. The officials, important to maintain a University’s quality, are trained hands appointed by a selection committee that evaluates the candidates on their merit, he said. Persons appointed to these posts are also trained by national bodies to improve their capabilities, making it essential to have regular appointees, he added.

E. Balagurusamy, former V-C of Anna University, said the V-C as the chairman of the syndicate is responsible for the appointment. “The registrar and the CoE have powers to act independently. But when a person is given only temporary charge it could breed corruption,” he pointed out. Anna University’s statutes are unique in that the V-C appoints these officers. Appointments must follow the rules, he added.

These educators say it is the duty of the Syndicate, the apex body of a University to question the V-C on such appointments.

Prof. Thyagarajan said the National Education Policy 2020 had recommended key reforms in the governance of Universities. Until the NEP becomes operational, universities are bound by the UGC regulations that the State has adopted, he added.

Prof. Balagurusamy said, “If a V-C needs to function honestly, there should be a regular registrar and CoE. The V-C, by appointing his own men can manipulate the functioning of the institution. If the Syndicate discharged its functions honestly there would be no corruption,” he said.

The distance education programme is also plagued by a similar situation. This has resulted in several marks-for-money scams, he pointed out.

According to former president of the Association of University Teachers K. Pandiyan, “The in-charge syndrome at the Universities is a double whammy as the recruited teachers set aside their teaching work and research, if any, and are unable to do justice to the post they hold additionally. Above all, it perpetuates a culture of corruption.”


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 4:54:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/most-tn-universities-do-not-have-fulltime-officers-in-key-posts/article38290945.ece