Chennai: Amid growing differences over a host of issues, yet another row has cropped up between the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu and Governor R.N.Ravi, who is the Chancellor of State-run Universities, a point opposed by the government that went to the extent of passing a Bill in the State Assembly divesting of his power and making the Chief Minister the authority.
After war of words over continuance of a Minister without portfolio and other key issues, including the alleged spreading of BJP-RSS ideology in the State by the Governor, this time the row has been triggered over the constitution of search committee for appointing a Vice-Chancellor (VC) for the University of Madras for which Mr Ravi is the Chancellor.
The Governor has formed a search panel of four members, including a UGC nominee for selecting the VC, but it was objected to by the Higher Education Minister K.Ponmudy, who had said that the panel could only have three members and that there was no need for an UGC nominee, triggering a fresh row.
After the State Government rejected the Governor’s order nominating four people as part of the search panel to select the VC for the varsity, the Governor on Wednesday called upon the Higher Education Department to cancel and withdraw the notification issued by it in this regard terming it as void ab initio and being contrary to the UGC Regulations and order of the Supreme Court.
The Governor held that the School Education Department has no role in the University affairs and also has no authority to issue such a gazette notifcation without his authority as he was the Chancellor and the head of the University.
A Raj Bhavan communique here said “The Hon’ble Governor, as the Chancellor of University of Madras has issued a Notification dated Septemebr six notifying the constitution of the Search-cum-Selection Committee for identification of candidate for appointment of the Vice
Chancellor of the University and the same was also published in the website of Raj Bhavan, as well as made known to the public by a press release.”
The information of Notification was also published in the media, it said. “By an act of impropriety, the Principal Secretary to Government, Higher Education Department, has issued a further notification of a Search-cum- Selection Committee by excluding the nominee of the UGC Chairman and the same is published in the Government Gazette on September 13 without adhering to the decision of the Supreme Court of India and in
violation of the same”, it said.
“The said notification published on September 13 is void ab initio, being contrary to the UGC Regulations and order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”, it said
“The said publication in the Government gazette is without any such authority from the Chancellor, being the head of the University and that the Principal Secretary to Government, Higher Education Department, has no role in the affairs of the University and hence the Chancellor has called upon to withdraw the said Notification published in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette Extraordinary”, it said.
It may be noted that the state government and the Raj Bhavan had been at loggerheads over several issues that prompted the ruling party to even going to the extent of recalling the Governor and also staged protest demonstrations with the support of its allies.