Anna University will once again become a single affiliating university for engineering colleges all over the State from August 1.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced the date from which five regional Anna Universities of Technology (AUT) functioning in different parts of the State will be merged under Anna University, which was the state’s first technical university established in 1978.

The DMK regime had split the Anna University to create regional universities in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli from 2007 for various reasons such as decentralising administration of technical education and creating geographical proximity with affiliated engineering colleges. Anna University, the parent institution, was converted into a non-affiliating university, with some constituent colleges under it.

Policy decision

However, the present AIADMK government took a policy decision to merge the five regional universities and passed a bill to that effect in September 2011. Thereafter, it appointed a monitoring committee under senior civil servant Sheela Balakrishnan to study all aspects of the proposed merger, including the status of students, teachers, non-teaching staff, moveable and immoveable assets and presented a detailed report.

“Based on examination of this report, the Chief Minister ordered the merger of the five AUTs with Anna University, Chennai, and it will come into force from August 1,” an official press release said.

As a result of this move, 535 engineering colleges will be affiliated to Anna University, and 12 constituent colleges under Tiruchi, Tirunelveli, Chennai and Madurai AUTs will become constituent colleges under it.

Departments of AUT, Chennai, will now come under Anna University. The departments of AUT, Tiruchi, will be merged to form one constituent college of Anna University based in Tiruchi. In respect of the departments in other AUTs, students would be attached to the respective zonal offices of Anna University.

Four zonal offices would function in the four cities other than Chennai for administrative convenience. These offices would monitor the functioning of constituent and affiliated colleges and also address the grievances of students in these institutions, the release said.

Academic schedule remains same

The merger would not disrupt the academic schedule, as already the semester examinations held in January and May 2012 were conducted directly by Anna University.

“The world famous Anna University will regain its lost glory, fame and tradition by this merger. By bringing all technical institutions under one umbrella, engineering students all over Tamil Nadu will have the same syllabus. It will also help them contribute better in higher education and research,” the government said.

Arguing that merely increasing the number of universities would not raise the standard of education, the government said the university lost its strength after it was split into regional institutions.

Without raising the standard of education, it merely resulted in creating institutions that had no autonomy.

Further, the certificates issued by Anna University commanded respect and recognition, the government said.

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