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March 08, 2019
CHENNAI: Only 14 of the 41 university constituent colleges in the state will be converted into government arts and science colleges now, a February 28 order issued by the Directorate of Collegiate Education has said, citing budget constraints. In June 2018, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced in the assembly under Rule 110 that all university colleges will be converted in 2018-19 at an estimated Rs 152.20 crore.
The decision was taken to reduce the financial burden on universities which had to run these colleges as well as take care of their administration using the same annual grant. By bringing more colleges directly under its control, the government hoped it would be able to meet the increasing demand for arts and science courses and allow the universities to focus more on research.
But the directorate of collegiate education in its subsequent proposal estimated that the conversion would cost ?167.79 crore, ?15.59 crore more than earlier thought, and in its February order said the remaining 27 will be later taken up for conversion in three phases based on the chronological order.
However, the educational activists forum and teacher organisations say the government should fulfil its promise as several constituent colleges could only be revived under the government’s direct supervision.
Educationist Prince Gajendra Babu said that 37 colleges could be taken up for conversion within the budget announced by the chief minister. “So, why choose only 14? The government order belittles the importance of the announcements made under Rule 110 of the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly,” he added.
Others said some of these colleges were in terrible shape and cited the example of a college of Coimbatore-headquartered Bharathiar University that is currently functioning on the premises of a Government School in Pollachi. While students of the school attend classes on the ground floor and a portion of the first floor, students of the college attend classes in the remaining portion of the first floor and on the second floor, they said.
In response, a senior official in the directorate of collegiate education said that the February 28 order had been issued only after consultation with higher-ups in the state higher education department and also clarified that the other colleges would be left in the lurch. “All the 41 colleges will be converted as announced in a phased manner within three years,” he said.
Courtesy : TOI
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