In a letter to Vice-Chancellors of state universities, Governor RN Ravi has written that they could not be forced to adopt a common syllabus by the Higher Education ministry of the state government as the subject of determining standards for higher education was in the Union List and the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said that the syllabus must be designed by the university in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Commission.
He said that a number of vice-chancellors and college principals had expressed their concerns to him stating that the move would impinge on academic freedom. Further, they informed him that the proposed common syllabus was below the standard of what they were following currently, he said.
Another issue flagged by educationists was that it could affect their rankings under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
The common syllabus has been designed by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education. The proposal is to keep 75 per cent of the syllabus as common, with the universities allowed to make changes in the remaining 25 per cent.
A number of protests have been organised against the move. The Joint Action Council of College Teachers (JAC) organised a hunger strike in July.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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