Justice N. Anand Venkatesh insisted that the government must make its submission before the court by September 29. The direction was issued pursuant to a writ petition filed by an association of self-financing agricultural colleges in the State to restrain the deemed to be universities from making admissions this year without a NOC and accreditation.

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NEWS STATES TAMIL NADU
TAMIL NADU
Madras HC’s directive to Govt on agri admissions in deemed varsities
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University students taking their first semester examination using digital pads.
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University students taking their first semester examination using digital pads.
Legal Correspondent
CHENNAI 16 SEPTEMBER 2020 10:06 IST
UPDATED: 16 SEPTEMBER 2020 10:18 IST
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Asks it to ensure obtaining of NOC and ICAR accreditation
The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to list out steps it had taken to ensure that deemed universities do not admit new students this year in agriculture or allied courses without obtaining a ‘no objection certificate’ from the government and accreditation from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh insisted that the government must make its submission before the court by September 29. The direction was issued pursuant to a writ petition filed by an association of self-financing agricultural colleges in the State to restrain the deemed to be universities from making admissions this year without a NOC and accreditation.

In an affidavit filed through its counsel on record D. Sadiq Raja, the association pointed out that there were 14 government constituent agricultural colleges and 28 private agricultural colleges affiliated to the Coimbatore based Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in the State. A majority of the private colleges were part of the petitioner association.

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Guidelines issued

As per guidelines issued by ICAR and TNAU, every college intending to offer degree and diploma courses in agriculture and allied subjects such as horticulture, forestry, food technology, biotechnology, sericulture, home or community science and food, nutrition and dietetics must fulfil certain minimum infrastructural requirements.

It was mandatory to have 110 acres of cultivable land with 15 contiguous laboratories, five lab stores, a mist chamber, green house, nursery area and so on. The deemed to be universities should also follow the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of 2004 and the UGC (Institutions deemed to be universities) Regulations of 2016.

Government order

A Government Order (GO) issued on July 28 this year took note that as many as nine deemed universities in the State were already offering agriculture and allied courses. It directed those universities to submit proof of having obtained NOC from the government and accreditation from ICAR for establishment of ‘on campus’ or ‘off campus’ centres.

“If not obtained so far, they shall get the approval of the Government of Tamil Nadu within a period of six months from the date of issuance of this order in the interest of large number of students pursuing the said courses in such institutions. Further, the deemed to be universities are also hereby informed that they should admit new students in agriculture and allied courses only after they comply with all the norms stipulated by UGC as discussed above,” the GO read.

Despite the GO, the deemed to be universities were issuing applications and collecting fees for new admissions, the association secretary K. Balaraman stated in the affidavit.

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