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NEP: Universities in State caught between UGC and government

With the Tamil Nadu government expected to seek several amendments to the New Education Policy (NEP), the managements of all State-run universities and colleges are in a fix after being asked by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to create awareness about all aspects the policy among teachers, students, officials and other stakeholders in the higher education system.

NEP: Universities in State caught between UGC and government


After sharing the documents on the salient features of the new polity with all Vice-Chancellors and college principals, the UGC asked them to use print, electronic and social media to create awareness about them among all stakeholders.

However, a senior Higher Education Department official told DT Next that the universities were instructed not to offer any individual opinions as the policy is being discussed by expert committee that is looking into its pros and cons. The institutions have also been instructed to wait till the expert committee submitted its report to the government, the official said.

There are 13 government-run universities and more than 180 arts and science colleges in the State.

However, 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 NEP.

“We need to conduct webinar awareness programmes and share the videos on various social media, the links of which have to be submitted to the UGC,” he said. Similarly, the universities have to share clippings of the reports that appeared on newspapers and magazines.

Noting that UGC funds were crucial to run the universities without any hassles, the professor said: “Fund release could be delayed if we do not carry out the UGC’s instructions on NEP.”

A senior lecturer from Annamalai University added that the Commission was closely monitoring awareness programmes on NEP.

“Any delay could be an issue, including affecting permission from the UGC to run new courses.”

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