Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi on Monday wrote to Vice-Chancellors of State Universities advising them that they were under no obligation to follow the Common Syllabus designed by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education.
In the letter also marked to the president, Association of Management of Private Colleges, and the Principal Secretary to the Government, Higher Education Department, Mr. Ravi said that a number of educationists, including Vice-Chancellors of universities , principals of colleges and managements of autonomous colleges, had brought to his attention their deep concerns over the Higher Education department of the State Government aggressively pushing all the Arts & Science colleges to adopt the Common Syllabus.
He said the educationists were concerned about severe erosion of their academic freedom. They were also worried that the prescribed Common Syllabus severely compromised the quality of education as it was far below and behind the current syllabus being followed by them. Also, the common syllabus would drive them out of the National Institutional Ranking Framework which promoted healthy competitions towards better performance and determined their All India rankings.
Mr. Ravi said he took due cognisance of the genuine concerns and considering the fact that determination of standards in higher education was in the Union List of the Constitution and hence beyond the competence of the State Government, a reference was made to the University Grants Commission with respect to the syllabi.
The UGC had made it clear that it was the university/autonomous college which shall design the course/programme of study and syllabi in accordance with the regulations, frameworks, guidelines etc. issued by the UGC from time to time and with the due approval of its statutory bodies like the academic council and executive council.
“This puts to rest any doubt or ambiguity regarding the Common Syllabus. You are free to have syllabi as designed by the competent body of your institutions and are under no obligation to follow the Common Syllabus designed by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education,” the Governor said.