TAMIL NADU

Four engineering colleges barred from admitting students

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Higher Education Minster K. Ponmudy on Tuesday told the Assembly that four engineering colleges in the State have been barred from admitting students for their failure to comply with the standards set by the government.

The Minister refused to name the institutions, saying he would reveal them during his reply to a debate on the demand for grants for his department on Wednesday.

Sources in the Department of Higher Education said that Anna University, Chennai had taken action against the four colleges, which were found lacking in infrastructure and had problems on the faculty front, during an inspection.

Mr. Ponmudy rejected the argument of AIADMK legislator and former Education Minister C. V. Shanmugam that the five-member committee constituted to curb private colleges from collecting excess fees would serve no purpose as it had no authority over the colleges.

“A few colleges have returned the donations and excess fees collected from the students after the committee made surprise visits,” he said, quoting media reports.

When Mr. Shanmugam alleged that the government had failed to appoint adequate teachers to match the increase in the number of students, Mr. Ponmudy said 2,624 teachers had been appointed and 1000 more would be recruited in the current year.

Deemed varsities

Responding to PMK Legislature Party leader G.K. Mani’s complaints about deemed universities, the Minister said he had met Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on the issue.

Mr. Ponmudy said the government was planning to introduce a Common University Bill in the current session.

When Congress whip Peter Alphonse requested the government to name its engineering college in Tuticorin after freedom fighter V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said the DMK government had no objection to the proposal.