Barely a few days after taking charge, Higher Education Minister Ponmudi had recently said that his government will not allow the NEP into Tamil Nadu to protect the rights of the state.
Even before coming to power, the DMK, in 2019 itself constituted an expert panel to study the NEP. The committee already submitted its report to the party high command.
However, the state-owned Bharathidasan University in Tiruchy had announced the launch of its online learning portal which will offer the finest quality undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) degrees in multiple domains. The University made this special announcement as an initiative to drive greater access to high-quality education as per the NEP 2020.
Likewise, a senior professor from Madurai Kamaraj University said on condition of anonymity that they were under pressure from the UGC, which has asked them to submit regular reports on the steps taken to create awareness about the salient features of the NEP.
Adding to the woes, a series of circulars from the University Grants Commission (UGC) had already warned the state-run universities that funds would be frozen if NEP is not implemented this academic year.
At present, there are 13 government-run universities and more than 180 arts and science colleges were functioning in the state.
A senior official from the Higher Education Department, seeking anonymity, also admitted that several universities have started activities as part of NEP despite a circular that has been issued by the state that the policy should not be implemented.
N Pasupathy, president of the Association of University Teachers (AUT), also pointed out that most of the higher education institutions were under severe pressure not only worried about the freezing of funds by UGC if NEP is not adopted but also the commission would take away its affiliations. Meanwhile, the new government is expected to prepare a report on the state stance on NEP and would send it to the Centre. The official said the previous government had already sent its opinion to the UGC.