Tamil Nadu Govt to decide on the appointment of vice-chancellors
Many senior educationists and discerning observers in Tamil Nadu are shocked to know that the Government of Tamil Nadu has decided to directly appoint the vice-chancellor of universities in the state and the law would be amended accordingly soon.
The immediate reaction of the concerned people about this decision is that it is retrograde and would cause enormous harm to the academic climate in the universities in Tamil Nadu.
Last nail in the coffin:
Particularly considering several recent controversial decisions taken by the Tamil Nadu government relating to the field of education, many seem to think that this decision to appoint vice-chancellors by the government of Tamil Nadu is the last nail in the coffin in the educational sector in Tamil Nadu.
Destabilizing well-established procedure:
There is a well-established procedure in Tamil Nadu at present, which involves the invitation of applications for the vice-chancellor post, shortlisting of the name of the candidates by an expert group, and then the Chancellor (Governor) choosing the vice-chancellor. This is the best process and by and large, has worked well.
Even with such well-laid procedures, there have been a few suspicions in the past of politicians interfering in the selection process of the vice-chancellors indirectly and a few vice-chancellors have been accused of indulging in corruption and favouritism and not maintaining the requisite laudable standards that the vice-chancellors should adopt to govern the universities.
By discarding the well-established procedure, the Tamil Nadu government would be opening Pandora’s box in the selection process of vice-chancellors.
Paving way for counterproductive political decision:
In the case of the Government of Tamil Nadu (which means politicians exercising power and authority) choosing the vice-chancellor, it would be a case of political decision and is likely to be largely based on the political affiliation of the candidate for selection. In Tamil Nadu, where corruption at all levels of administration is rampant, any appointment of vice-chancellor by the Tamil Nadu government directly in its own cosmetic way would inevitably raise suspicion, which would make the incumbent for the post very uncomfortable.
The government appointing vice-chancellor directly certainly amount to gross political interference in an academic institution and this would inevitably politicize the atmosphere in the universities and which would do tremendous harm to the cause of education and standards of teaching. The losers would be the student community.
The government made NEET controversy:
It is very well-known that the present Tamil Nadu government is already unduly interfering in matters relating to education in the state, which has already caused considerable confusion, uncertainty amongst staff and students.
The immediate example is the opposing stand of the Tamil Nadu government with regard to the NEET examination, which has now been made a controversial political subject in the state. The present Tamil Nadu government has made NEET be a matter of politics, instead of being purely viewed as a subject of education.
What is noteworthy here is that every state in the country has accepted the system of NEET examination for the selection of medical students without raising any objection and the judiciary at the highest level has approved this procedure of conducting NEET entrance test.
Because of this negative stand of the Tamil Nadu government, students feel restless and uncertain and are not able to focus on preparing themselves for the NEET examination.
The objective of NEET is to ensure that merit would be the criteria for admission and to prevent the private medical college managements indulging in the exploitation of students by demanding exorbitant fees and perhaps, bribe too.
To scuttle the objective of the NEET examination to ensure that merit would be the sole criteria for admission, the Tamil Nadu government has reserved a certain percentage of seats for students in government schools for admission while selecting students on the basis of the NEET examination. In other words, the students studying in government schools would get admission to medical colleges even if their credit score would be lower than the students studying in non-government schools. This policy of the Government of Tamil Nadu is a case of mixing politics with education.
Navodaya schools blocked:
This is not all.
Navodaya schools, which are run by the Government of India are not permitted in Tamil Nadu which has been permitted in every other state. Due to this, students in Tamil Nadu are denied the opportunity to study in Navodaya schools, where the fees are very reasonable and the quality of education is well recognized to be good enough.
Counterproductive two language formula:
Further, the students in Tamil Nadu are being prevented from learning the Hindi language due to the two language formula imposed by the state government. As job opportunities in Tamil Nadu are limited and people have to go for jobs to other states in many cases, the young passed out students in Tamil Nadu, deprived of knowledge of Hindi, are at a disadvantage while seeking jobs in other states.
Students bear the brunt:
In such situation of Tamil Nadu government carelessly tampering with the educational policy in the state, most parents and students are highly concerned and realize that they have to pay a high price in the life ahead.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 Tamil Nadu government playing politics over NEET, responsible for students’ deaths: BJP’s Annamalai – Sep 15, 2021, Indian Express
 Why is Tamil Nadu opposed to ‘imposition’ of Hindi? – May 07, 2017, The Hindu
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