With as many as 21 Bills adopted by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly pending in the Raj Bhavan, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday called on Governor R N Ravi and urged him to grant assent to the legislations so as “to uphold the spirt of the Constitution and the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu.”
The Chief Minister, accompanied by his Cabinet colleagues Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan, Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy and Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan.
An official release said Mr. Stalin urged the Governor to grant assent to the pending Bills. Releasing a photo of the meeting, the Raj Bhavan said, “In a cordial meeting, State affairs were discussed.”
The State government release said among the Bills pending assent is the legislation to replace the Governor as Chancellor of State-run universities with the Chief Minister. The legislation seeks to empower the State government to appoint Vice-Chancellors to its universities instead of the current procedure, where the Governor appoints the Vice-Chancellor from a shortlist of three names submitted to him by a three-member search committee.
The Assembly had adopted separate Bills to amend the Acts governing different fields of university education to empower the State government appoint Vice-Chancellors for universities. The Bills on appointing Vice-Chancellors for State-run universities cited the Gujarat University Act, 1949, and the Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) Universities Act, 1991, which had empowered the respective State governments to appoint the Vice-Chancellors. These Bills also cited the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000, according to which the Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed by the Chancellor with the concurrence of the State government.
In April, Mr. Stalin had contended in the Assembly: “During the past four years, there has been a trend in which the Governor, without consulting the State government, is functioning as if he has the exclusive right to appoint Vice-Chancellors.”
The State government was not able to appoint the Vice-Chancellors for universities under its control. This had led to confusion and was against the ideals of democracy, Mr. Stalin said. He had further cited the recommendations of the Punchchi Commission on the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.
Another Bill awaiting assent from the Governor is the proposed legislation to establish a university for Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga and Naturopathy and Homeopathy in Tamil Nadu. A Bill to amend Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act, 1983, and another to replace the Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act, 1994, are also pending in the Raj Bhavan.
“During the meeting, the Chief Minister also thanked the Governor for sending the Bill seeking exemption for the State from the ambit of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test to the President,” an official release said.