Former vice-chancellor of Anna University of Technology, Tirunelveli, M. Rajaram is likely to be the next vice-chancellor of Anna University.

According to sources, he is the top contender for the post in the shortlist submitted by a search committee. The other professors on the shortlist are the present V-C of the university, P. Kaliraj, and former registrar of the Anna University of Technology, Chennai, S. Gowri.

Anna University was without a head for days after former vice-chancellor, P. Mannar Jawahar’s tenure ended in June last year.

In August, the government merged the five AUTs with Anna University in Chennai and professor Kaliraj, the senior-most faculty member of the institutions, was appointed as the officiating vice-chancellor of the unified Anna University. In March, the higher education department constituted a three-member search committee to shortlist the next head. The search committee comprised former Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University V-C S. Sachidhanandham, who was the governor-chancellor’s nominee, retired IAS officer and former V-C of Madurai Kamaraj University K. Aludaiyapillai, who was nominated by the State government, and director of faculty of science and humanities of SRM University, R. Balasubramanian (syndicate nominee).

The composition of the search committee, however, attracted some criticism in academic circles. Senior professors had argued that none of the three had a background in technical education.

All the three shortlisted candidates have a strong engineering background in the Anna University system.

 Professor Rajaram was appointed vice-chancellor of Anna University of Technology, Tirunelveli, in 2010, before which he was head of the department of electrical and electronics engineering at Government College of Engineering, Tirunelveli.

He graduated in electrical and electronics engineering from Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology, Karaikudi, in 1981. He pursued his M. Tech in power systems at the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore and Ph.D (control systems) at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore in 1994.

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