Speaking to the media in Dharmapuri on Friday, the Minister said that the Centre has come forward to confer the IoE status to the university. “But it would mean a loss of 69 per cent reservation. Also the fees might increase and entrance tests may be introduced for admissions. In addition, students from other states may get preference over those from economically weaker backgrounds from Tamil Nadu. Amma’s government would never allow that to happen,” he said.
Pointing out that Vice Chancellors hold charge only for three years whereas the State government protects the university forever, the Minister said that the government will strive to offer best education and research to the students on a par with what an IoE acquired institution offers.
On the issue of Vice Chancellor MK Surappa writing to the Centre on the IoE status, the Minister said, “An explanation has been sought from the VC for writing directly to the Centre. The letter pertains only to the university’s capability to mobilise finances. But what remains unanswered is the source of these funds. Will the funds come from affiliate colleges and regional centres?” he asked.
Protests by the opposition have been growing louder in Tamil Nadu demanding the sacking of Surappa for writing directly without the consent of the State regarding the IoE status. “The university is under the control of the government and any proposal for IoE will simply be rejected. There is no need for any drastic measure like demanding the resignation of the VC,” Anbalagan said. Pointing out that the IoE status considers only the four research institutes of the University, which may cause its 13 affiliate colleges and 4 regional centres to suffer; the Minister said that research institutes are performing well, but in contrast there has been a drop in admissions in other colleges. “Hence importance should be given to all affiliate colleges one set of institutions cannot thrive at the expense of others,” he said.
Claiming that the State is close to reaching the target of the New Education Policy’s vision -2035, which envisions the higher education percentage at 54 per cent, the Minister said that the State reached 49 per cent last year itself.