People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 50

December 15, 2013






Put Western Ghats Report on Hold: CPI(M)


THE Tamilnadu state committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged the centre to put on hold the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel report by K Kasturirangan, and review it after wider discussions to prevent the possible displacement of lakhs of tribal population.


Talking to reporters on the resolutions adopted by the three-day long meeting of the state committee, CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan said protection of ecology should not be done at the cost of the livelihood of tribal people.


About the recently concluded Commonwealth meet at Sri Lanka, Ramakrishnan said the British prime minister, David Cameron, had drawn the attention of the international community to the issue of war crimes and rights violations in that country. India too should utilise all opportunities to draw the attention of international community towards the war crimes and to the need for a fair and impartial inquiry.


The CPI(M) urged the state government to compensate the farmers for the cattle they lost due to the foot-and-mouth disease, as it was done in Karnataka. It has also called for efforts to combat the disease on war footing. The party urged the state government to extend the validity of the government order on the issue of housesite pattas for the poor, which expired on September 30, as more people were yet to get pattas.


The CPI(M) also asked the state government to start wage negotiations with the workers’ unions in the transport corporation, as has been the practice since 1977.


The party asked the state government to re-appoint the dismissed health workers. It said that 13,500 workers were sent home in November 2011. It also asked the government to take severe action against usurious moneylenders, saying the concerned act is now confined to paper and was seldom enforced.


G Ramakrishnan urged the union and state governments to announce a procurement price of Rs 4,000 per tonne for sugarcane, against Rs 2,750 per tonne.


The state committee, which met at Coimbatore on November 17- 19, discussed and finalised the report of an interim organisational review. The meeting was also attended by Prakash Karat, CPI(M) general secretary.




THE Tamilnadu Federation of Universities Faculty Associations (TANFUFA) has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court to get it ensured that the selection of the vice chancellors to Periyar University (Salem), Alagappa University (Karaikudi) and Bharathidasan University (Tiruchy) is done as per the clause 7.3.0 of the UGC regulations. This clause states, "Persons of the highest level of competence, integrity, morals and institutional commitment are to be appointed as vice chancellors. The vice chancellor to be appointed should be a distinguished academician, with a minimum of ten years of experience as professor in a university system or ten years of experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and/or academic administrative organisation." 


The High Court has issued notices to the principal secretary to Department of Higher Education, Government of Tamilnadu, to the chairmen of the three said universities’ vice-chancellor search committees, and to UGC chairman.


The TANFUFA has taken this step due to the apprehension caused by the earlier appointments of vice chancellors where, despite the representations and pleas to follow the UGC norms in the appointment of a vice chancellor, ineligible candidates were appointed to the Madurai Kamaraj University, Bharathidasan University, Periyar University and Mother Theresa Women’s University. The TANFUFA raised this concern in representations made to the chancellor, the principal secretary to Depertment of Higher Education and the members of the search committees for selection of vice chancellors to Periyar University, Alagappa University and Bharathidasan University. As the universities are following the same regulations for selection of teachers and their pay scales and as the pay scales of vice chancellors are also based on the UGCs regulations, the TANFUFA pointed out that the regulations cannot be selectively followed only for pay scales but not for selection of vice chancellors.


To maintain standards in institutions, the importance of appointment of an academician and a person of eminence and high moral values as the vice chancellor of a university has to be recognised. This has been recommended time and again by various commissions and committees. The credentials of a candidate need to be given paramount importance for a university to function. The quality of education suffers when an unqualified faculty member gets appointed in a university. If a vice chancellors lacks merit, it would all the more affect the institutional performance and reputation of the concerned university.


In a brief statement, TANFUFA convener Professor Krishnasamy urged the state universities to follow the UGC norms in appointing vice chancellors without compromising on quality and integrity.