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AJIT IS going the Aamir way, like he promised - being extremely choosy about his films. And that is why his next big release is to come as late as May 2001.

`Citizen' is shaping out well, Ajit tells us. Nothing more than that. Even as everybody is tight-lipped about the project, the grapevine has it that Ajit will don at least half a dozen different looks, a la Kamal Hasan in `Hey! Ram'.

The chocolate faced hero will play a terrorist in `Citizen'! Surprised? Incidentally, even Hrithik plays a terrorist in his post `Fiza' flick, `Mission Kashmir'. But Ajit's role is apparently a different one.

The actor made an appearance with wife Shalini at Planet Yumm, Anna Nagar, on Sunday and took some time off to sign autographs. He has put on weight and looks different without a moustache. Many connect it to his `Citizen' role.

Any other projects, Ajit? ``Only `Citizen' for now. You can say I'm putting all my eggs in one basket,'' he says. It will be a long wait for his fans till they all hatch.

AFTER PLAYING the ``saviour'' of Tamil militants, has forest brigand Veerappan entered the ``working class consciousness'' along with his list of demands?

A senior AITUC leader, heading a procession of construction industry workers in Coimbatore recently was aghast when he heard a strange slogan from a section of the processionists. ``Veerappa, Veerappa, Engal Korikaiyaiyum Serappa'' (Veerappa, include our demands too.)

The leader, a veteran of many a trade union struggle, fumed and shouted at them, asking whether they wanted ``his leadership'' or ``Veerappan's leadership''. The workers immediately withdrew it.

No marks for guessing where the processionists, who referred to Veerappan, were from. Sathyamangalam!

THE FIRST convocation of the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, a historic occasion for the institution, is delayed for a strange reason: a squabble over VVIP invitees.

Originally, the convocation was slated for September 20, the third anniversary of the University's inauguration. All arrangements were made for the event, but the syndicate meeting on last Sunday altered the schedule. Some members suggested that the Chief Minister should be invited as the chief guest. Afterall, he had given his proposed residence on Greenways Road for the University's office.

So the convocation will have to wait till the University gets the concurrence from the Chief Minister and a suitable date for his participation.

UNIVERSITIES AND colleges are always trying to grapple with the problem of errant students who are ``well connected''. Madras University may be a prestigious institution, but it is not free from pulls and pressures.

Take the case of the son of a senior bureaucrat, who lacked attendance in one of the more prominent suburban self-financing engineering colleges. There was pressure from syndicate members to regularise his attendance on the ground that merely putting in an appearance in a day was good enough to secure attendance for the whole day. University officials said that was not enough and turned down his plea.

So what did the student do to get round the problem? Got himself transferred to another self-financing engineering college, into the next term, with the permission of the Directorate of Technical Education. A good case for investigation by the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council), which is examining the University's credentials for accreditation.

By Sudhish Kamath,

M. R. Venkatesh,

K. Ramachandran

and G. Ananthakrishnan

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