Tamil Nadu

Former Anna University Vice-Chancellor M. Anandakrishnan no more

M. Anandakrishnan   | Photo Credit: BIJOY GHOSH

Renowned educationist M. Anandakrishnan died in the city early on May 29, after battling against COVID-19. He was 93.

He served as Vice-Chancellor of Anna University and was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

A Padma Shri recipient, he is survived by his wife Jayalakshmi Anandakrishnan and four sons – Ramu, Ravi, Satyan and Sridhar.

From humble beginnings in Vaniyambadi, Anandakrishnan, the second of nine children, carved a distinguished career spanning several continents.

He also served as chief science officer in the United Nations in New York.

Anandakrishnan’s admirers and students, in their tribute, said he kept the interests of the students and the university at heart in every decision he took.

M.K. Surappa, former V-C of Anna University, said his association with Anandakrishnan had begun even before he took charge at the university. He described him as a man of great vision, who was candid and outspoken.

“Even in the meetings of IIT Councils, he was vocal. I came to know from his lecturers in the Alumni Club at the University that he was candid in his observations about the university’s administration and governance. We need more people like him who can speak up for the welfare of the university and the students,” he said.

K.E. Raghunathan, former national president of All India Manufacturers Organisation and his student, said: “My association with him was for over 35 years. He has been instrumental in shaping my life in more ways than one. I learnt a great deal from him, especially perfection and detailing, a man who spoke what his heart felt and what his brain thought. There is none who will have any grudge when you mention his name. A man who cared for society, an ever-willing workaholic for a good cause, who loved university-industry partnership deeply. Above all, a man with clean hands, thoughts and deeds. So much to learn, how to live life to the fullest in the right way.”

Despite being a great scholar who had just returned to India as Vice-Chancellor of a premier engineering institution, Anandakrishnan always remained very friendly with students, recalled Virudhunagar Collector R. Kannan.

Mr. Kannan, who belonged to the 1990-94 batch of Electronics and Communication Engineering in the university, said that Anandakrishnan would casually walk into the sports ground and students hostel during the evenings. A down-to-earth personality, he would freely interact with the students.

“He would personally visit the hostel whenever there was any issue and leave the place only after resolving the students’ concerns,” Mr. Kannan said.

“We feel proud that such an eminent personality consented to join us in our batch re-union held in 2019 and spent a lot of time with us,” Mr. Kannan said.

CM offers condolences

In a statement, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said the former V-C held a transparent administration and the students’ educational growth as his two eyes. It was he who was the hero behind the DMK government’s decision to scrap entrance examinations for higher education earlier.

“It was his report to the government that opened the doors of higher education to students from rural areas. Underprivileged and middle class students from rural areas who are now engineers and doctors will understand this very well. Besides, he was also responsible for bringing in a revolution in the Information Technology sector in the State as an adviser to the government,” Mr. Stalin recalled.

Anandakrishnan was instrumental in introducing the single-window system of admissions to engineering colleges and conducting an online Tamil Conference, and making the use of Tamil on the internet easy, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 8:09:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/former-anna-university-vice-chancellor-m-anandakrishnan-no-more/article34673423.ece

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