Higher Edu Minister Ponmudy to boycott MK University Convocation

Minister alleged that TN Governor was using event as a political stage and violated norms
Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy
Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy

CHENNAI: Claiming that the Tamil Nadu Governor had taken decisions without consulting him, Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy on Tuesday said he would boycott the convocation function of Madurai Kamaraj University, which would be held on Wednesday.

Giving more reasons for not attending the convocation, the minister said that the Union Minister for the State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and dairying, Ministry of Infomation and Broadcasting Minister L Murugan was invited as Guest of Honour to deliver Special Address. “Moreover, me as a pro-chancellor, should deliver special address and they have invited me to offer only felicitation," Ponmudy said.

The minister added that when the concerned secretary and authorities contacted the Governor's office had sought an explanation with regard to the invitation for the convocation, the officials at the Raj Bhavan had claimed it was their job to decide it.

Ponmudy also said that any convocation in the State-run universities should be decided by the concerned vice-chancellor of the institution after consulting with the Higher Education Department. "However the vice-chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University said it was totally decided by the Governor's office", the minister said.

Alleging that inviting a Union minister creates confusion on whether the convocation was used as a political campaign among students, Ponmundy said, "The Governor is only an executive appointed by the Centre, he is not elected by the people".

The minister also alleged that the Governor was acting as BJP's propagandist appreciating National Education Policy and other central schemes.

Pointing out that the Governor's duty was only to support schemes and welfare measures brought about by the State government for public, Ponmudy, in an official statement, also claimed that university rules mandated that a convocation could not be a turned into a political stage. He added that rules have been violated even in the printing of the invitation for the event. "This has to be streamlined soon", he added.

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