A section of professors of Madras University has severely condemned the new circular issued by the Registrar of Madras University. According to the new circular, all the heads of the departments and faculties must take prior permission from the Registrar to hold a conference, workshops, seminars or any other programme on the campus. The circular was issued on November 23, 2016, and it received a negative response from the professors.
Some of the professors claimed that the new circular curbs the academic freedom. The circular is unwarranted as a varsity should always be open to public debate and exchange of ideas.
G. Ravindran, the Secretary of Madras University Teachers Association and HOD of Journalism Department, pointed that the varsity authorities issued the circular. According to Madras University, the authorities are an academic council, syndicate and senate. Only they have the power to pass the regulations or resolutions. However, no such regulations have been passed by these bodies. Hence, the circular is illegal.
According to sources, the Registrar has passed the circular due to two reasons. One of the reasons is the Department of Journalism had conducted a programme last week protesting against the New Education Policy adopted by the Central government. They protested in a unique way by using traditional instruments. Some of the professors complained to the Registrar that the drumbeats had caused disturbance to their classes.
Another reason is that the varsity had hosted a conference two weeks ago where it invited foreign delegates without required clearances from the central intelligence agencies. The central government had questioned the officials of higher education department regarding the event.
Therefore, the Registrar of Madras University issued a circular to all the HODs and faculties to take permission for conducting any event on the campus to avoid similar instances in future.