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Tamil Nadu: Governor withdraws vice-chancellor appointment notification

January 10, 2024

Following a meeting between Chief Minister MK Stalin and Governor RN Ravi, Raj Bhavan withdrew notifications related to the appointment of vice-chancellors at three state-run universities in Tamil Nadu. This move, the first after the recent Supreme Court suggestion to resolve differences, is seen as a potential thaw in the strained relations between Raj Bhavan and the DMK government.

Raj Bhavan’s withdrawal of notifications comes with an expectation that the state government will also retract its notifications and reissue them in accordance with UGC regulations, as well as the judgments of the Supreme Court and high courts. The tussle between the state government and Governor Ravi over various issues, including pending bills, policy matters, and the premature release of prisoners, has been widely noted.

The Governor, as the chancellor of state universities, had issued three notifications on September 6, 2023, forming search committees to identify suitable candidates for the vice-chancellor positions at Bharathiar University, The Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University, and the University of Madras.

Raj Bhavan stated that the state government’s gazette notifications on the same matter did not align with the University Grants Commission’s regulations. Referring to a Madras High Court judgment, Raj Bhavan emphasized the need for statutory provisions to conform to UGC Regulations 2018.

Governor Ravi is confident that the state government will withdraw its notifications, considering constitutional propriety and legality, and issue new notifications in line with UGC norms and court judgments. The proposed new notifications aim to constitute search committees for recommending panels of three persons to the chancellor for the appointment of vice-chancellors.

Raj Bhavan expressed optimism that the state would align the norms of government-run universities with UGC regulations. The governor awaits prompt action from the Tamil Nadu government to ensure the well-being of higher education and the future of numerous students in the state.

Also read: Tamil Nadu: Stagnant enrolments

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