The financial crisis of Annamalai University and the strident Joint Action Council (JAC) of the teaching and non-teaching staff have made T.Balasubramanian, long standing Director-cum-Dean of the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology located at Paraingipettai, to make an unceremonious exit.
Mr Balasubramanian is quite popular in the science, academic and executive circles in the State as well as at the Centre. Through his personal rapport with the officials in the Union Human Resource Development, Union Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Science and Technology Department, he has won many a project for Annamalai University.
Throughout his career spanning over 35 years, Mr Balasubramanian had brought Central projects worth over Rs 100 crore to the university.
Therefore, all along, he has been contributing to the growth of the university, particularly to the Marine Biology Centre.
For this reason as well as for his quest for science, Mr Balasubramanian has become the blue-eyed boy of founder Pro-Chancellor M.A.M.Ramaswamy. But he has been forced to quit his post following the pressure exerted by the JAC.
The JAC has put forth the demand that the university should not keep any teaching staff, however accomplished or meritorious he or she may be, in the post beyond the retirement age.
Mr Balasubramanian was given extension by the university till June 2013. The JAC is of the view that if the university has to tide over the present financial crisis it should not give any tenure extension to anybody, however, highly placed he or she may be.
When the JAC was about to stage a demonstration in front of the Marine Biology Centre on Friday, Mr Balasubramanian got wind of it. He immediately approached Vice-Chancellor M.Ramanathan and volunteered to demit his office.
Dr Ramanathan had to hesitantly agree to it. The Marine Biology Centre is known for its competence in coastal and marine biodiversity, bio-prospecting, mangrove and halophytes restoration, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture, assessment of marine environmental pollution and environmental impact assessment.
Mr Balasubramanian was instrumental in making the Centre to emerge as the centre of excellence.
When the Centre gave a call in 2010 for the educational institutions to apply for centre of excellence status, as many as 35 institutions sought the honour.