Tamil Nadu

Institute of Eminence status to Anna University would mean loss of reservation, Higher Education Minister says

Higher Education Minister, K.P. Anbalagan   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The Institute of Eminence (IoE) status to Anna University would mean the loss of 69% reservation that was a result of a hard-won struggle for social justice, a hike in fees, the declaration of entrance exams and disproportionate admission of students from other States in place of students from poor backgrounds within the State, said Minister for Higher Education K.P. Anbalagan on Friday.

The Minister was commenting on the row triggered by the Anna University Vice Chancellor M.K Surappa’s letter to the Centre on the University’s financial readiness for IoE status.

Speaking in the wake of the controversy and the State government’s notice to the Vice Chancellor seeking his response, Mr. Anbalagan said, Anna University did not require an IoE status if it meant loss of reservation and made the University exclusive in denying the entry of poor students. “69% reservations will become a question mark, there will entrance exams, then a hike in fees. Amma’s government does not need all that. The Vice Chancellor’s tenure is fixed, but the government has a mandate to protect institutions for posterity,” Mr. Anbalagan said.

“The Vice Chancellor’s letter, though unilateral, pertained solely to the financial state of the University and its ability to mobilise finances for the IoE status. But the question then is, where will these funds come from? Will they take it from the affiliate colleges and regional centres?” he asked.

The IoE status considers only the 4 research institutes of the University and does not factor in the 13 affiliate colleges and 4 regional centers, all of which will suffer. “If research is the key, the State government is ready to provide all the funds required,” he said.

According to Mr. Anbalagan, the research institutions were doing very well, while there has been a fall in admissions in the other colleges. The focus then should be to involve all the affiliate colleges, and not to allow one set of institutions to thrive at the expense of others, he said.

The State has been relatively ahead in higher education learning, close to reaching the target of the new Education Policy’s vision for 2035. The NEP envisions the higher education percentage at 54%, while our State had reached 49% last year itself, the Minister said.

The government will provide all the research funds required by the University and there is absolutely no need for IoE status for Anna University, which is already among top-ranked institutions, Mr. Anbalagan said. He underlined that the University was under the control of the government, and the government will simply reject the proposal for IoE and hence there was no need for any drastic measure of demanding the resignation of the V-C.

Touching upon the late admissions to colleges, the Minister said, admissions to arts and science colleges have been extended upto October 31, to enable those who had cleared supplementary exams in the Plus Two board exams to also apply to colleges, wherever there are still vacant seats.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 9:27:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/institute-of-eminence-status-to-anna-university-would-mean-loss-of-reservation-higher-education-minister-says/article32869933.ece

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