Written byAakanksha Raghuvanshi ·
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has alleged that crores of rupees exchanged hands in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors to universities before he took over.
In the "appointment of Vice-Chancellors... exchanging (of) money in crores (was happening), I could not believe that, then I decided that things had to be changed," Purohit said at an event on education in Chennai on Saturday.
Reacting to Purohit's remarks, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in the state said it had no role in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.
Purohit added, "The people of Tamil Nadu would appreciate that till date I've selected nine Vice-Chancellors, purely on merit, nobody can raise a finger, from Vice-Chancellors to primary school teachers, all appointments should be clearly on merit."
The Governor's remarks have virtually strengthened the opposition criticism against the AIADMK government on the appointment of VCs to the state-run universities. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) had in February demanded a probe by the CBI into alleged corruption in the universities of TN.
Higher Education Minister KP Anbazhagan said, "I am duty-bound to clarify that the government has no role in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors."
He dubbed Purohit's remarks as "surprising" since the recommendations to the Governor to appoint Vice-Chancellors were made by search committees, over which the government had no control.
He further added that the government appointed only one member to search committees.
Continuing on the issue, Anbazhagan said that the government-appointed only one member, an eminent educationist of standing or a government secretary, to the search committees to recommend the names of Vice-Chancellors, while the two other members were named by the university syndicate and the Governor respectively.
Only the Governor selected the Vice-Chancellors on the basis of the search committee's recommendations, he said.
Speaking to reporters at Dharmapuri on Saturday, the Higher Education Minister said, "What the Governor had in mind when he made the remarks can only be answered by him."
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the government would take action "if there is truth in the allegations and if the identity of those who got posts by shelling out money becomes known."
In February, the then Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore, A Ganapathy, was arrested by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in a bribery case, following which he was suspended.
In November 2016, the now-defunct Coimbatore-Anna University's former Vice-Chancellor R Radhakrishnan was convicted in a graft case by a court and sentenced to undergo five years of rigorous imprisonment.
In August last, a scam in awarding marks during revaluation was exposed in the premier Anna University in Chennai. Besides graft allegations, the appointments of Vice-Chancellors to some universities have also been mired in controversies for other reasons as well.
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