Students in Tamil Nadu Now Have to Pay High Price

What is noteworthy here is that every state in the country has accepted the system of NEET examination for selection of medical students without raising any objection and the judiciary at the highest level has approved this procedure of conducting NEET entrance test.

by N.S.Venkataraman

Many  senior  educationists and  discerning observers in Tamil Nadu are shocked to know that Government of Tamil Nadu has decided to  directly appoint the vice chancellor of universities in the state and law would be amended accordingly  soon.

The immediate reaction of the concerned people about this decision is that it is retrograde   and would  cause  enormous harm to the academic  climate in the universities in Tamil Nadu.

Last nail in the coffin :

Particularly considering several recent controversial decisions taken by the Tamil Nadu government  relating to the  field of education ,  many seem to think that this decision to appoint vice chancellors by government of Tamil Nadu is the last nail in the coffin in the educational sector in Tamil Nadu.

Destabilising well established procedure :

There is a well established procedure in Tamil Nadu at present, which involve invitation of applications for the vice chancellor post , shortlisting of the name  of the candidates by an expert group and then the Chancellor (Governor) choosing the vice chancellor. This is the best process  and by and large ,has worked well.

Even with such well laid procedures , there have been a few  suspicions in the past of politicians interfering in the selection process of the vice chancellors indirectly and a few vice chancellors have been accused of indulging in corruption and favouritism and not maintaining the requisite laudable standards that the vice chancellors should adopt to govern the universities. 

By discarding the well established procedure, Tamil Nadu government would be opening a  Pandora box in the selection process of vice chancellors.

 Paving way for counter productive  political decision:

In the case of Government of Tamil Nadu (which means politicians exercising power and authority) choosing the vice chancellor , it would be a case of political decision and  is likely to be largely  based on the political affiliation of  the candidate for selection.   In Tamil Nadu where  corruption  at all levels of administration   are rampant, any appointment of vice chancellor by Tamil Nadu government directly in it’s own cosmetic way would inevitably raise suspicion , which would make the incumbent for the post very uncomfortable. 

The government appointing vice chancellor directly certainly amount to gross political interference in an academic institution    and this  would inevitably politicalise the atmosphere in the universities  and which would do tremendous harm to the cause of education and standards of teaching.. The losers would be the student community.

Government made NEET controversy :

It is very well known that the present Tamil Nadu government is already unduly interfering in matters relating to education in the state, which have already caused considerable confusion , uncertainty  amongst staff and students

The immediate example is the opposing  stand of the Tamil Nadu government with regard to NEET examination, which has now been made a controversial  political subject in the state.  The present Tamil Nadu government has made NEET to be a matter of politics, instead of being purely viewed as a subject of education.

What is noteworthy here is that every state in the country has accepted the system of NEET examination for selection of medical students without raising any objection and the judiciary at the highest level has approved this procedure of conducting NEET entrance test .

Because of this negative stand of the Tamil Nadu government , students feel restless and uncertain and are not able to focus on preparing themselves for the NEET examination. 

The objective of NEET is   to ensure that merit would be the criteria for admission  and to prevent the private medical college  managements indulging in exploitation of students  by demanding  exhorbitant fees  and perhaps, bribe too. 

To scuttle the objective of NEET examination to ensure that merit would be the sole criteria for admission,  Tamil Nadu government have reserved certain percentage of seats for students in government schools for admission  while selecting students on the basis of NEET examination.  In other words, the students studying in government schools would get admission in medical colleges  even if their credit  score would be lower than the students studying in non government schools.  This policy of government of Tamil Nadu is a   case of mixing politics with education .

Navodaya schools blocked :

This is not all.

Navodaya schools, which are run by Government of India  are not permitted in Tamil Nadu which has been permitted in every other state.  Due to this, students in Tamil Nadu are denied the opportunity to study in Navodaya schools , where the fees are very reasonable and the quality of education is well recognised to be good enough.

Counterproductive two language formula :

Further, the students in   Tamil Nadu are being prevented from learning Hindi language due to the two language formula imposed  by the state government. As job opportunities in Tamil Nadu are limited and people have to go for jobs to other states in many cases, the young passed out students  in Tamil Nadu, deprived of knowledge of Hindi, are at disadvantage  while seeking jobs in other states.

Students bear the brunt :

In such situation of Tamil Nadu government carelessly tampering with the educational policy in the state, most parents and students are highly concerned  and realise that they have to pay high price in the  life ahead.

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