Reiterating her government’s commitment to improve higher education with emphasis on expansion, inclusion and excellence, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Friday that all measures would be taken to augment the much required and treasured human resources.

Giving an account of the State government’s various steps in the field of higher education, the Chief Minister, who delivered the convocation address at the 34 convocation of Anna University, she said in April 2013, an allocation of Rs. 150 crore was made towards infrastructure development of regional centres and constituent colleges of the Anna University. To fulfil the aspirations of rural students, she had ordered the opening of four new government engineering colleges, which started functioning.

Besides, several schemes initiated by her government included the establishment of “University Business Collaboration Centre”; soft skills training centres for students; training centres for differently abled; and ICT- enabled self-employment training centres for women and the Centre for Tamil Computing, she said, adding that Tamil Nadu was metamorphosing into the “innovation hub” and “knowledge capital” of the country.

Pointing out to engineering graduates about their social responsibility, the Chief Minister called upon the youth to contribute substantially to society.

Tracing the genesis of the State’s institution of higher learning for engineering, she said Anna University was the largest technological university in Asia with 637 institutions. There was a student registration of over seven lakhs on the four main campuses of the university and affiliated colleges, she added.

K. Rosaiah, Governor-Chancellor of the university, gave away certificates of degrees to top students in different engineering disciplines.

One hundred and 14 first-rank holders of B.E./B.Tech/B.Arch. programmes and 688 Ph.D. scholars received degrees and medals .

Of about 1.54 lakh students who were awarded degrees in absentia, undergraduates accounted for around 1.2 lakh.

M. Rajaram, Anna University Vice-Chancellor, said the university had, through the system of single window counselling, admitted about 1.85 lakh students to undergraduate and postgraduate engineering courses for 2013-2014.

Among those who took part in the convocation were P. Palaniappan, Higher Education Minister and Pro-Chancellor of the University, and Apurva Varma, Principal Secretary (Higher Education).

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