Though the move was in the pipeline for quite sometime, the official announcement came only on July 22. With a major chunk of the 535 engineering colleges falling under the Anna University of Technology

Academics in Coimbatore have welcomed the decision of the State Government to merge the five regional Anna Universities of Technology (AUT) and make Anna University, Chennai, as the single affiliating body for engineering colleges in the State from August 1.

Though the move was in the pipeline for quite sometime, the official announcement came only on July 22. With a major chunk of the 535 engineering colleges falling under the Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, the academia in city is upbeat about the merger, in spite of certain apprehensions.

Benefit

There is whole-hearted consensus that the merger will reinstate the quality and credibility of the parent university and benefit students who, either opt to study abroad, or take up higher education.

Among the engineering fraternity, the only apprehension is about administrative difficulties, and close monitoring of colleges to check for compliance with AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) norms.

Common syllabus

Otherwise, they say it is a “win-win” situation for the college as well as the students. With regard to common syllabus, evaluation, continuous assessments, examinations, etc., a centralised system is expected to be more standardised than a de-centralised one.

Academics give examples of some colleges, even in rural areas, which brought in almost 90 per cent pass percentage, which could not be possible even by a premier college in the urban centres. Also, the individual pass percentages of students were very high, which was not the case when Anna University was the single affiliating body.

When the January 2012 and May 2012 semester examinations were held under the aegis of the Anna University, the difference in the setting of the question paper, evaluation and results, were noticed.

With regard to management courses too it was a similar trend in terms of evaluation and results.

Opinion

The general opinion is that the splitting of the parent university into six parts did not result in improving the quality of technical education that was actually envisaged.

While this can be attributed to many reasons, the failure of the Government in not providing adequate infrastructure is also seen as a major reason behind the universities not being able to ensure quality.

Zonal office

The zonal office that will be set up in the place of the university in Coimbatore is expected to monitor the functioning of the university departments and also that of the affiliated colleges.

A senior academic said that in due course it would be decided whether to do away with certain courses, retain them, or merge them, to suit the affiliation of Anna University.

Now that the Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, will cease to exist, the 130.33 acre of land of Bharathiar University that was to be handed over for setting up of the former, will also not happen.

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