The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a Bill that allows the state to appoint vice chancellors to the universities in the state, PTI reported. Vice chancellors are appointed by the state governor.

The Bill was tabled in the Assembly by Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy. It is based on the recommendations of the university search committee, ANI reported.

The Bill received the support of the Opposition party, Paattali Makkal Katchi. However, other Opposition parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam staged a walkout, PTI reported.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the governor is supposed to appoint vice chancellors in consultation with the state, NDTV reported. However, Stalin said, a new trend has emerged in which governors act like it is their prerogative to make the appointments. This behaviour “disrespects the elected government” and goes against the citizens’ rule, he said.

The current practice leads to confusion within the universities’ administrative staff, said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief.

“Even in Prime Minister’s [Narendra Modi] state Gujarat, one of the three candidates recommended by the state government’s search committee is appointed vice chancellor,” he said.

The legislation was introduced on the same day a two-day conference of vice chancellors of state, central and private universities is being held in Ooty, NDTV reported. The conference is chaired by Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi.

Over the past few years, the governors in Tamil Nadu have rejected the state’s recommendations for candidates for the vice chancellors’ roles.