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Tamil Nadu university may not open constituent colleges anymore

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The state higher education department is likely to refrain from giving nod for university constituent colleges in future. Instead, new government colleges will be established, if needed, higher education secretary Sunil Paliwal told TOI here on Thursday.
“There is a conscious thinking in government that in future only government colleges would be opened and not constituent colleges. We have been getting varied views on this,” said the secretary adding that discussions were still on and a final decision would be taken soon.
The constituent colleges may be converted into government colleges. Paliwal said that the department had indeed received such requests but a decision was yet to be taken. The move comes in the backdrop of many staterun universities expressing concern over operational costs of running the constituent colleges negatively impacting their finances.

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For instance, Bharathidasan University which runs 10 constituent colleges could not disburse salary to staff on time last month because of financial issues. Besides, it is also being pointed out that universities are meant to concentrate more on research activities than run colleges.
“Shouldn’t the universities be focusing on post-graduation, MPhil and PhD level research activities than on undergraduation courses,” asked the vice-chancellor of a state-run university who did not want to be named. Welcoming such a move from the government, the VC said that constituent colleges could be good test labs for UG courses for the university but of late their numbers had increased

over various reasons and become a burden for universities. While it was the duty of the government to start colleges it had reduced direct funding to them and started asking universities to take the burden. While 14 government arts and science colleges were started in the state from 2011-17 not less than 51 constituent colleges were opened since 2006.
Sources said that while the universities could generate their own funds through distance education and by increasing fees, the government was unable to raise the fees fearing criticism. Therefore, successive governments had directed the universities to start constituent colleges and meet their operational costs. However, the main beneficiaries of this policy were local ministers and politicians who took credit for starting a college in their region.


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