Anna University has suspended admissions to two M. Tech programmes for which students were eligible for scholarship from the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), as the rules of reservation governing admissions to these courses were in conflict with the State’s communal reservation rules.
In a circular on its website, the university announced that M. Tech in Biotechnology and M. Tech in Computation Biology programmes would not be offered this year. As the Central government’s rules of reservation were not acceptable to Tamil Nadu, the university was unable to proceed with admissions to the courses, the circular said.
The M. Tech in Computational Biology programme is a two-year interdisciplinary course, with three semesters of coursework and a final semester of project work. The course was introduced in the 2014-2015 academic year. According to the website, until 2019, the entrance test for the course was conducted by Pondicherry University.
Admissions to the Biotechnology M. Tech course, also a two-year programme, was through the Combined Entrance Exam for Biotechnology (CEEB) of the DBT, conducted by JNU. A University official said the DBT had permitted the universities to conduct the entrance tests but adhered to the Centre’s reservation policy of 50% quota [as opposed to the 69% in Tamil Nadu] to enable continuance of scholarships to students.
The university had written to the Higher Education Department seeking its advice, which urged the university to follow the State’s reservation policy. The courses were much sought after as they were fully-funded programmes, university sources said.