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India and Tamil Nadu: Dr. Ambedkar Law University Affair

P. V. Velu

TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2009 (ID. 2009-09-01)
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Tamil Nadu State Government wants to move Dr. Ambedkar Law University to a new location. It is waiting for over a year to get University Grants Commission's (UGC) approval. UGC is yet to send an expert committee to visit the new site and give its approval or disapproval.

Why do we need the approval from New Delhi to do anything important in Tamil Nadu? Why do we have to wait for an expert committee set up from over a thousand miles away in New Delhi to visit the site and give approval? Why can't the government of Tamilnadu, representing 60 million people, appoint an expert committee to decide on the location of our law college? Are we stupid or incompetent to decide whether a site is suitable for a law university? Tamil Nadu state is bigger than half the countries in the world, has more population than half the countries in the world and has more gross domestic product (GDP) than half the countries in the world. We have an outstanding educational system. Yet we have to wait for approval from New Delhi for anything important. They delay and delay and in the meantime cost of construction goes up and up, as we wait and wait.


FEEDBACK

Thanjai Nalankilli
September 17, 2009
TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2009 (ID. 2009-11-f1-a-x)
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I read the article with much interest. I mentioned it to a professor from Madurai. He made an interesting comment, "University Grants Commission (UGC) has every reason to dictate to the state government where Dr. Ambedkar Law University should be relocated because they are partially or fully funding the relocation costs."

Yes, University Grants Commission (UGC) is funding the relocation of the university, but with whose money? The money comes from Indian government treasury, and the Indian government treasury gets the money from taxes collected from all over India including Tamilnadu. In fact, Tamil Nadu pays more in Indian government taxes per person than the Hindi states; also it gets back less money per person from Indian government than Hindi states (even after allowing for general expenditures like military, foreign ministry, etc.) So UGC is actually getting the money from Tamil Nadu and giving part of the money back to Tamil Nadu for projects such as "Dr. Ambedkar Law University relocation". In the process of giving back part of our own tax monies, UGC as well as other Indian government institutions, dictates to us what to do and treats us as as if we are incompetents. If Tamil people can earn the money and pay taxes to fund UGC, Tamil people (through their state government) can also decide where to locate our universities, colleges, irrigation projects, power plants, etc. We do not need some organization from thousands of miles away to come and tell us what to do.

This Ambedkar Law University discussion also reminds me of another conversation I had many years ago when I was a college student. I was talking about the need for Tamil Nadu independence from Indian rule. One of the students who received a central government scholarship (like many of us) said, "Without the scholarship I could never attend college. What will happen to these scholarships if Tamil Nadu separates from India?" Where does funds for these central government scholarships come? From taxes paid by people from every state including Tamil Nadu. Indian government collects the taxes from us and sends back some of the money in the form of scholarships, fiscal grants etc. As I stated in the preceding paragraph, Tamil Nadu pays more in Indian government taxes per person than the Hindi states and gets back less money per person from Indian government than Hindi states. So, had Tamil Nadu been an independent country, all our taxes would stay here and Tamil Nadu government could pay college scholarships to more students or pay more money to each scholarship recipient.

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