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Universities disappointed over non-conversion of affiliate colleges

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When higher education minister K P Anbalagan was making announcements in the Tamil Nadu assembly on Wednesday, all the state universities were looking up to him with anticipation. They were eagerly awaiting an announcement on state government taking over constituent colleges that are presently under the 10 state-run arts and science universities. However, there wasn’t any such announcement much to their disappointment.

Recently, though the state government had agreed upon refraining from starting any new constituent colleges under universities, no decision was taken on converting existing constituent colleges into government arts colleges thereby taking up the financial burden from the universities. The higher education department has been receiving repeated requests in this regard as the state-run universities are struggling to meet operational cost of these colleges.

“For instance, Bharathidasan University which runs the highest number of constituent colleges among other universities in the state spends about 70 lakh per month on salaries of teaching and non-teaching staffs alone,” said BDU syndicate member A Mohamed Mohideen.

Unlike the government arts colleges that are directly funded by the state government, constituent colleges are run by state-run universities in its territorial jurisdiction.
“While 14 government arts and science colleges were started in the state from 2011-17, a total of 51 constituent colleges were opened since 2006,” said a former president of the association of university teachers (AUT) K Pandiyan which clearly reflects the intention of the government to pass on the burden to the universities. Successive governments directed state universities to start constituent colleges and meet the operational cost as it facilitated the local ministers and politicians to take credit for starting a college in their region, he said.


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