T.N. sheds resistance to idea of pvt. varsities

The two proposed private universities in the State — Shiv Nadar University and the Sai University — would be allowed to establish constituent colleges, regional centres, additional campuses and study centres at places they deem fit subject to norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other national accreditation bodies.

The universities “shall reserve 35% of seats in each course of study for resident students of Tamil Nadu” and this will have to be done following the reservation norms in force, Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan said. An earlier attempt by SSN Trust, floated by industrialist Shiv Nadar, to upgrade the SSN College of Engineering near Chennai into a deemed university did not take shape as the UGC had taken a policy decision not to permit any more deemed universities in the country.

Unlike many other states which chose to establish private universities, Tamil Nadu shied away from the idea considering that there were complaints about the sub-standard education being offered by many of the deemed universities. However, now with big ticket private universities being established in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the State has chosen to follow suit.

Mr. Anbalagan said that the Bills to establish and incorporate in Tamil Nadu universities of unitary nature in the private sector by Sai Education, Medical, Research and Charitable Trust, and SSN Trust were being tabled “to promote, conceptualise, and bring about a paradigm shift through development of outstanding leadership, research, knowledge and ideas for education and allied development sectors”.

While tabling the Bill to set up Shiv Nadar University, he said this was being done in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (ELCOT) and HCL Corporation Pvt. Ltd, founded by Shiv Nadar, during the Global Investors Meet in 2015. Sai University would be administered by the Sai Education, Medical, Research and Charitable Trust. When the Bills were taken up, former DMK Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy and legislator S. Regupathy opposed them, contending that their party was in principle against allowing private universities.

35% of seats will be reserved in each course for resident students of Tamil Nadu

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