Tamil Nadu

T.N. govt can accept IoE status for Anna University with condition, says V-C

A view of the Anna University campus

A view of the Anna University campus

Anna University Vice-Chancellor M.K. Surappa has said that the Tamil Nadu government could conditionally accept the Centre’s offer to upgrade the university into an Institute of Eminence (IoE) without compromising on the State’s reservation policy.

“Only Tamil Nadu has the 69% reservation policy. The government could protect its rights by placing the condition [that the reservation scheme not be disturbed] as a prerequisite for acceptance,” he told The Hindu .

The State has withheld consent for upgrading the premier technical university into an IoE predominantly fearing that the reservation policy could be disturbed. Once the IoE status is granted, “merit-based admission” may take precedence over the reservation policy.

When Anna University was offered the IoE status, political parties in the State reiterated that there could be no compromise on the reservation policy. The Opposition has raised the issue several times in the Assembly as well.

The University Grants Commission said the status would be given to the university after consultation with the State government.

The status will bring to Anna University a grant of ₹1,000 crore over a period of five years, of which 50% must be borne by the State government. The status would give the university more autonomy and freedom to determine fees, course structure and governance. Currently, the university receives an annual grant of ₹40 crore.

The additional funding would give fillip to the research programmes of the four campuses of the university.

Senior academicians said autonomy would allow flow of funds for research. A clause in the IoE states that the institutions should be able to raise a part of funds from their alumni and through research. Among the recent research products from the university is a drone that has been widely used in the last five years by the State government for surveillance.

Reservation issue

The State government had formed a committee with a group of five ministers and had said that it would take the advice of senior academicians on the way forward. So far, two meetings of group of ministers had been held.

Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan said the State had gone through much struggle to obtain 69% reservation in admission. “We want the Central government to give a categorical assurance that it would not interfere with the State’s reservation policy,” he said.

Earlier this month, the alumni of the College of Engineering, Guindy, wrote to the Chief Minister urging him to expedite the process.

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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 12:27:40 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-govt-can-accept-ioe-status-for-anna-university-with-condition-says-v-c/article31629347.ece