Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin to PM Modi: Bring education back to State list

Besides mounting political pressure, a plea has also been filed in the Madras High Court, challenging the shifting of education from the State list.

ByShilpa Nair

Published Nov 12, 2022 | 1:05 PMUpdatedNov 12, 2022 | 1:20 PM

Prime Minister Modi with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin in Dindigul (Supplied)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief MK Stalin on Friday, 11 November, reiterated his party’s demand to shift education back to the State list from the Concurrent list. Stalin made the demand in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 36th convocation ceremony of the Gandhigram Rural Institute at Dindigul.

“Education is the only asset that can never be snatched away by anyone. The state government must impart the wealth of education”, the Chief Minister said while addressing the event.

“Hence, I appeal to the Union government to support and encourage such efforts in bringing back education to the State list”, Stalin demanded.

He further pointed out how education was initially included in the State list when the Constitution was formed and came into effect but was later moved to the Concurrent list during the Emergency. Education was shifted to the Concurrent list through the 42nd amendment of the Constitution in September 1976.

“I request the Union Government, especially the honourable Prime Minister, to move education back to the State list”, Stalin added.

Stalin lists welfare schemes

Stalin also listed various education-related schemes his government has been undertaking, such as the Pudhumai Penn scheme which provides ₹1,000 per month to students who have studied in government schools, who wish to complete undergraduate degree/diploma; the 7.5 percent horizontal reservation given to government school students in professional courses, the Illam Thedi Kalvi scheme, Naan Mudhalvan scheme, etc.

CM MK Stalin-Modi

A picture from the convocation ceremony attended by PM Modi and CM MK Stalin. (Supplied)

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi, Union Minister L Murugan, state ministers, and senior IAS and IPS officers attended the event, among others.

The DMK has been fighting for the state’s rights in education. The party believed that common entrance tests such as the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to medical courses discriminated against students studying in state government schools, and those from rural and poor backgrounds.

The DMK has been opposed to National Education Policy, 2020, as well.

Plea filed in Madras High Court

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court is hearing a plea filed by DMK MLA Dr Ezhilan Naganathan on behalf of his trust, challenging the shifting of education from the State list to the Concurrent list.

During the previous hearing on 8 November, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, representing the state government, arguing before the court’s full bench, listed the negative consequences of uniformity in matters like education.

He further stated that subjects such as health and education must come under the absolute control of the state.