A number of measures will be initiated to foster discipline

After having initiated fiscal prudence measures to restore the financial health of Annamalai University, government-appointed administrator Shiv Das Meena is now focusing on inculcating discipline among the teaching and non-teaching staff.

Prominent among these steps is that once inside the campus all the teaching and non-teaching staff must “wear” the identity cards around their necks. Even the heads of departments are not exempted.

It is rare to see staff sporting ID cards at seminars and workshops. A faculty member says, “In fact, the identity cards were issued by the erstwhile management about five years ago but none of the staff members ever displayed the ID cards. But, now, no one can be seen without the ID card on the campus.”

Attendance has been made compulsory for the staff members and they must be present from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. without fail.

A “movement register” too is now being maintained to keep a tab on the staff members who leave the campus on trivial grounds. Earlier, staff members who used to take unannounced leave kept “template forms” ready at their disposal.

If they sensed that the authorities had got scent of their absence they used to sign the leave forms and slyly pushed them in. But now, no absenteeism is allowed without prior permission.

Faculty members with pressing academic engagements, such as seminars and workshops outside, will have to make entries in the “movement register.”

Earlier, they were free to just report to the authorities after their return. Another salient feature in the newly enforced disciplinary regimen is that unlike the teaching staff the non-teaching staff cannot take any vacation.

In the case of students, periodic tests and 80 per cent attendance for sitting in the annual examinations have been made mandatory. Earlier, students with less than the requisite attendance could get away by paying the prescribed fine.

While speaking at a workshop on the university premises on Thursday, Mr Meena gave a piece of his mind to the faculty.

He said that though the university could take pride in having taken up numerous research programmes it must deliver the results to society.

“There is no room for complacency. If the academicians fail to keep their feet firmly on the ground, they would be swept away by the strong current of competition in the education sector,” Mr Meena said.

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