School of Mathematics of Madurai loses special status

UGC gives negative report, discontinues Centre of Advanced Study status of School of Mathematics.

Madurai Kamaraj University here has suffered a setback as its School of Mathematics has lost the status of Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Mathematics, which was accorded by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The School of Mathematics, which had been enjoying the CAS status since 2008, does not figure in the latest UGC list since an expert committee strongly recommended against extending the prestigious recognition to it.

Official sources told The Hindu on Thursday that the university received a communication to this effect. The particulars along with the recommendation of expert committee meeting held at UGC headquarters in New Delhi on July 10 have been posted on the UGC website.

The expert committee which reviewed special assistance scheme implementation for 2014-19 at various universities in the country wrote its remarks for the MKU that “the committee strongly recommends that the department be discontinued.”

When the CAS phase-I was implemented, the university had received periodical financial assistance from the UGC to equip faculty, library, infrastructure, research and collaboration in the field of mathematics.

M. Lellis Thivagar, Chairperson, School of Mathematics, MKU, said the university had missed out an opportunity to retain the CAS status this year.

“Our departments could not submit utilisation certificate and five-year progress report in time due to shortage of time and scarcity of staff. The School of Mathematics has only eight faculty members while the original strength was 26. We will submit a fresh proposal to the UGC in two or three months to get back the CAS phase-II,” he said.

The School of Mathematics has two departments — one each for Pure Maths and Applied Maths. Dr. Thivagar blamed the department heads who retired in the last two years for not completing the documentation work in a time-bound manner.

Senior maths professors who retired from the university expressed “terrible shock” over the development.

“That position (CAS status) put the MKU in a special category besides getting funding support to the tune of Rs.20 lakh per year. People with lack of interest are bringing down the department. It is unfortunate that we lost a prestigious position and I don’t know whom to blame,” a retired professor lamented.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 3:22:22 PM |

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