TAMIL NADU

Private colleges welcome common varsity law

Coimbatore Feb. 15. While the Association of Management of Private Colleges has welcomed the government decision to enact a common University Act, it has pleaded for a check on the powers of the university bodies.

It has also lauded the objective of reducing the number of university bodies by merging the Senate and the Academic Council. The intention will be best served by ensuring that the university bodies are ``representative of all stakeholders'' while making them as compact as possible, it has observed.

It has demanded that common statutes be introduced under the Act and the rules passed by the university bodies ratified by the State Legislature. ``Until there is some kind of check on the rule-making powers given to the university bodies,'' it observed that there would be only ``organized anarchy'' in the academic system.

In a statement, the association president, Aruchami, regretted that the composition of the Syndicate (with 15 members as envisaged) did not take into account the long-standing plea of private college managements for ``better and equal representation'' in that policy-making body. Despite the private colleges forming more than 80 per cent of the higher education institutions in the State, the managements got marginalized in the policy-making bodies.

He appealed to the Government to increase the representation to private college managements in the Syndicate from the intended one to four _ drawn from aided, unaided, autonomous and minority colleges.

At the same time, the Government should reduce the University Department representation in that body ``in the interest of the healthy academic administration.'' According to him, the proposal to merge the Senate with the Academic Council and form an Academic Senate would go against the government's intention of making university bodies ``lean and efficient.'' With the UGC deciding to encourage colleges to become autonomous, ``the Academic Senate will become redundant and a big drag on university finances.'' It would also lead to the universities taxing the affiliated colleges with more levies.

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