Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also Chancellor of universities in Tamil Nadu, said on Saturday alleged that when he took over in October 2017, he found universities to be dens of corruption with crores of rupees changing hands for the appointment of Vice-Chancellors and he had since stemmed the rot. He made this allegation at a function in Chennai.
Purohit said all the nine Vice-Chancellors he appointed since then were selected on the basis of merit. Higher Education Minister K P Anbazahagan promptly said the Government had no role in the selection of Vice-Chancellors and it was done by the Governor on the basis of recommendations of a search committee in which only one was a Government nominee, usually an eminent educationist or a Secretary level official. The others were named by the syndicate of the concerned university, a retired judge and the Governor himself. He said this had been the practice even before Purohit took over Governor.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said if the Governor named the Vice-Chancellors involved in the scam, action would be taken.
Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin said that the Governor instead of merely making allegations should take action against the concerned VCs and also demand the resignation of the Higher Education Minister.
Universities Teachers Association vice-president Paspathi told reporters in Erode that it had been going on for years. It was the Government nominee who influenced the choice of the VC, he charged.
. He cited the case of Vice-Chancellor of the Bharathiyar University A Ganapathi who was arrested by the DVAC in February after he was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 35 lakh for the appointment of assistant professor. He also recalled that former registrar of the Periyar University K Angamuthu committed suicide in December 2017 after allegations of malpractices were levelled against him. The malpractices came to light after he was short-listed for the post of VC .
It was present Governor Purohit who appointed Dr S Kolandaivel as VC of Periyar University in January this year after his predecessor S Balakrishnan completed his tenure of office in July 2017. The delay was because Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss levelled charges against the search committee itself and a new one had to be set up.
The same opposition which is clamouring for action against the Minister and VCs facing corruption charges opposed the appointment of Dr M K Surappa, an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru as VC of Anna University on the ground that he was an outsider. The Governor said he was the best among the three names suggested as he had not only had academic qualification, but also administrative experience in his capacity as director of IIT, Roopar for six years