Madras University to hold convocation without VC

Degree without VC's sign may affect students' higher studies.

Chennai: In a departure from more than 150 years old tradition, the University of Madras to hold the convocation without a vice-chancellor for the first time on December 1.

The university administration has decided to leave the space for the vice-chancellor’s signature empty and to affix the seal of convener of the syndicate committee in place of VC’s signature.

University professors said such a move would affect students if they go to pursue their higher education and employment in foreign countries. “If the degree certificate has a blank space at the place specified for a vice-chancellor, definitely questions will be raised about the degree by educational institutions and employers,” a professor said.

The university is functioning without a vice-chancellor for last 10 months. In the last syndicate meeting, the university administration has sought the approval of syndicate to affix the signature of the higher education secretary in the degree certificates. As some syndicate members opposed the move it was decided to seek the legal opinion from the advocate general.

The legal opinion from advocate general’s office was not conclusive.
Hence, the university decided to go ahead with the convocation without a vice-chancellor. “This is absolutely wrong. Only vice-chancellor can sign in the degree certificates. This sort of compromised degrees will earn a bad impression for the university,” a senior professor said.

When asked about the urgency in conducting the convocation without the vice-chancellor, a university official said, “The last convocation was held 13 months ago. There should be only 12 months gap. Since the provisional certificates are valid for only 12 months, some of them have already become invalid.”

All these problems wouldn’t have arisen if a vice-chancellor was appointed immediately after it had fallen vacant, he pointed out. A syndicate member said as per the university statutes only vice-chancellor can confer the degree or any other person approved by the syndicate.

“This will dent the university’s image and the degree’s value. The students will not get affected as they can get provisional certificates within a month from the university,” he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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