In addition to the two Bills that sought to empower itself to appoint the Vice-Chancellors (VCs) to 13 State universities, the Tamil Nadu government introduced yet another Bill in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on May 5 to empower itself to appoint the VC of Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University.
The Bill tabled by Law Minister S. Regupathy in the House cited the Gujarat University Act, 1949 and the Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) Universities Act, 1991 which have empowered the respective State Governments to appoint the VCs. It also cited the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000, according to which the VC shall be appointed by the Chancellor with the concurrence of the State Government.
“The State Development Policy Council [renamed as the State Planning Commission] has also recommended in making necessary amendments to the Tamil Nadu Dr. AmbedkarLaw University, 1996 to ensure the role of the government in the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor,” the Bill read.
Presently, the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the State universities, makes the appointment of VCs from a panel of three names recommended by a selection committee. While the 13 State universities for which two Bills were adopted earlier are under the aegis of the Higher Education Department, the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar LawUniversity is under the Law Department.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin contended in the Assembly last month, “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 over appointing VCs.”
The fact that the State Government could not appoint VCs for universities under its control affected its administration, he had said. “As the State Government is not able to appoint the VCs for universities under its control this has led to various confusions. It is against the ideals of democracy,” he said and went on to cite the recommendations of the Punchchi Commission over the appointment of VCs.