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Tamil Nadu CM writes to PM Modi, says no to scrapping UGC

By Deepika

Chennai, July 15: Tamil Nadu on Saturday strongly opposed the Central government's proposal to abolish the University Grants Commission (UGC) and form a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).


Chief Minister EK Palanisamy said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the existing institutional arrangement of the UGC with both regulatory and financial powers is functioning well while adding that the Tamil Nadu government was of the view that there was no need to disband the UGC and replace it with the Higher Education Commission of India with only regulatory powers.

"The UGC has the required capacity for objective evaluation of proposals received and to sanction funds in atransparent manner", Tamil Nadu CM said, adding its financial powers are an additional enabling mechanism for the body to ensure implementation of its recommendations.

"In the now proposed draft bill, the financial powers are, however, proposed to be transferred to the Ministry of Human Resources Development or some other body", Palaniswami wrote in the letter said.

"If this financial power is taken over by the MHRD, we apprehend that the funding pattern would change from 100 percent funding to 60:40 ratio between the Government of India and the state government."

For such reasons, the Tamil Nadu government "strongly opposes the draft Bill on Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Act 2018 and request that the present institution of University Grants Commission may kindly be continued."

Meanwhile, AIADMK sources said party MPs would oppose the proposal in Parliament during the ensuing monsoon session which begins on July 18. A directive in this regard would be given to MPs when they meet on July 16 to chalk out the party's strategy for the session.

The HRD Ministry had sought suggestions from all stake holders regarding the proposed move.

Earlier, several academicians, teacherassociations and student organisations had opposed the centre's move to replace UGC with HECI.

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