Rajan panel wants deemed varsities under govt. purview

But State is not inclined to implement the recommendation as experts opined that it may not have been legally correct

The high-level committee, led by the retired High Court judge, A.K. Rajan, has recommended that all deemed universities be brought under the Tamil Nadu government’s purview. The committee, constituted to study the impact of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on medical admissions in the State, submitted its report two months ago.

“As far as the deemed universities are concerned, an Act has to be passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly to bring all deemed universities of Tamil Nadu under the government’s purview, as under Act 3/2007, and the President’s assent has to be obtained,” according to the last of the seven recommendations made in the 165-page report. Act 3/2007 refers to the Tamil Nadu Admission in Professional Educational Institutions Act, 2006, passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. It received the President’s assent in 2007.

However, sources in the government told The Hindu that the government was not inclined to accept the last recommendation. Incidentally, the committee’s report was the basis for the government to table a Bill against the NEET in the Assembly last week. It went through.

“Some of the legal experts opined that it [the Act for bringing the deemed universities under the government’s purview] may not have been legally correct. The part that recommended an Act against the NEET and admission on the basis of the Class 12 marks was taken up, and the Bill was passed,” an official said.

Though the report recommended bringing “all deemed universities of Tamil Nadu” under the government’s purview, another official pointed out that since the committee was constituted to study the impact of the NEET on medical education, “it most probably could have meant only those deemed universities that offer medicine as a course of study”.

One of the opinions received by the committee contended that the NEET nullified the opportunities for students of the tribal and rural communities and the oppressed sections to pursue medical education. “Especially, it has helped the private and deemed universities prevent the students of the oppressed sections from pursuing medicine,” the report said, citing the feedback.

“After the NEET, students who got a mere pass were able to get admission at private medical colleges by paying a huge amount of money. Rich people can buy seat by paying ₹25 lakh per annum at deemed universities even if they get a low score, and the total cost of the entire course would be around ₹1.50 crore,” the report said, again citing the feedback.

When contacted, one of the members of the committee told The Hindu, “Education is in the Concurrent List, and the State government can enact laws to bring deemed universities under its purview.”

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