Staff Reporter

"While technical courses should be affiliated to Anna University, arts and science courses to regional universities"

Chennai: The Students' Federation of India (SFI) has demanded that the University Grants Commission should withdraw the deemed university status given to five educational institutions in Tamil Nadu.

Following the recent episodes of conflict between students and the management in two deemed universities here, SFI state chairman G. Selva told reporters on Thursday that the UGC and the Ministry of Human Resource Development should intervene to revoke the special status. The reason behind the student unrest is said to be the managements' indifference to procuring the mandatory All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approval for all courses.

"Once the deemed university status is taken away, technical courses in the universities concerned should be affiliated to Anna University.

Arts and science courses should be affiliated to the regional universities," Mr. Selva said.

The eight students of SRM Deemed University who were arrested on charges of initiating violence on campus, were released on bail on Thursday. At the press conference, they claimed that they were mere onlookers during the unrest but cases had been foisted on them.

"We were standing by the side when the police called some of us and asked us to sit down. After a while, we were arrested," one of the students said.

The SFI has demanded that the cases be withdrawn and that a sitting High Court judge conduct an inquiry. Parents of the students said that the university managements had failed to tell them about the arrest. "When they can directly send us progress reports and fee reminders, why couldn't they tell us that our children were under arrest for three days?" they asked.

As seven of the eight arrested boys stay in the hostel, their parents and relatives arrived in Chennai after they were intimated by friends of their wards.