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Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Polls and promises Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Maximising the micro pricing … The brown list of Venkitaramanan L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Quality silica from Neyveli Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel More tributes to GR Waning interest in public discussions… The rise and rise of KCP Delhi Chalo... For whom the bell tolls? Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Plummeting profits of PSBs The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Demise of a media baron... A more liberated TN… Building loyalty through the stomach A yen for wastage… IAS invades NDDB... Welcome focus on core competence Airlines in India: cost and space The Jan Dhan bonanza Alexa – Talking Wikipedia TGS- The king storyteller A think tank for Chennai Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Music happens Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Fuel for thought China invests in India L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Convulsions in The Hindu to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines West Bengal: mindless malignancy When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Intellectual of rare qualities Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Modi storms Silicon Valley Road development slows down A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… The few handicaps... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... CII projects higher growth… Small units prefers to remain small... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Nuclear power at the nucleus Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform The sea- saw battle continues... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Cement prices continue to rise… Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Breaththrough in malaria control Poor quality of university VCs Make standards certification mandatory... Robber barons everywhere No engine for this car Editor's Notes SoA @ 80 Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Tribute – UCAL Selvan… When nations steal growth from one another… Parliament in paralysis... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Welcome GST Discoms deserve better… An enemy’s enemy is a friend Tatas moving out of urea production... Mersal magnified Contrarian cousins Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Towards speedy justice Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Delhi is distant… Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks An inexplicable neglect F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Shale gas and its shallow future TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Computation of GDP – conundrums continue GM Technology at last! Kinetic Karnataka A welcome initiative by the judiciary Why this malaise in medical education? Cutting the nose to spite the face There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Kudos to NDTV... Pharma – overdose of copying He continues the focus on social amelioration Solar thermal shines… Valli, they are more marginalised Tatas moving out of urea production... EVM is tamper-proof EEC at the National Media Centre When small is no larger beautiful.. Boy, can you beat these? Medical costs hit the roof... The why of tax incentives Where a state respects its litterateurs… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Paytm karo... PC’s preference for professionals He saved millions from starvation... Engineering seats go abegging Secularism and anti-Hinduism Marketing expert Balagopal is no more More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Rahman at CIC Silver Years of Madras Musings No Maha Koottani in TN... A proud Madrasi Tribute – M V Murugappan Readers' Mail Muffled voices for merit… Modi and the lady Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Fortune 500 review B H Kothari - a tribute Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu The balancing act London, London Narayan All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Come elections, come advertisements... Put expensive assets created to use... Roaring Ro-Ro facility The Gulf aviation boom Auto components surge… Wise Presidents Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Russi Mody – a tribute Another Indian music maestro at the UN A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Tribute Of course, Gujarat is vibrant TELANGANA at last…BUT Moily’s bold thrust Should we change the official year? Noble nonagenarians... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Five star activism stalls development activity Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Delhi returns to BJP TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Why land prices zoom in TN? Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Quality education through the PPP mode Sweeter prospects for sugar Adharma of opposition politics Revive development banks... Solar, solar everywhere … Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Banning booze... Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Protest masters... IPL - no surprise this scam Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra The nuclear option Mu Sigma – is no more Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Revving up the manufacturing sector Don’t seem to feel the pulse… The star of Spencers is no more Streamlining mandatory third party cover A glass full of corruption Strengthen the base... Where is Rajaji? Haul over the coal A friendly business group Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan …and of a popular trade leader An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... More heat than light Tough task taking states together A professional at the helm of IRDA... GNS - 100: our first subscriber How Air-India loses customs... The Swadeshi Trump Shanti and Sadhana through Music Sri Lanka votes for change Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Shipping woes of Chennai companies The power-full Hindujas Tax agriculture Editor's Says For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Telangana in top gear… Build close rapport with business leaders Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The rise and fall of Annamalai University WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Things happen by accident and not by design... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Vibrant Gujarat Multi-faceted Venkat Excel Generators provide the vital back-up CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Gay abandon in pricing S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal IPL type auction for VCs? When the President was rendered homeless… Funding the un-funded ONGC at KG Basin Preserving for the future Which side are you, Montek? Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Kulandai was a giant CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Align crops to agro climate endowments… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… TIAM turns a full cycle Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Sweet news for TN sugar mills Delhi is distant Gas is the way forward When online building permits work…. Fortune for Indian Airlines When Ratan Tata visited SRM Return to king coal for urea... Making ‘my Amaravati’... This scant respect for Law
 
IPL type auction for VCs?

IE has been frequently pointing to the pathetic state of affairs of universities in Tamil Nadu. There has been crass political interference. As in politics, caste considerations have become a dominant factor and merit the casualty. For some two decades now, institutionalised system of corruption that pervades Tamil Nadu has taken deep roots in higher education as well. Look at the course of Guindy Engineering College, among the three oldest engineering colleges: for decades it enjoyed a prestige that spread across the globe for churning out graduates of outstanding merit. Its standards, systems and output were on par with the IITs. When the Anna University was formed, it had outstanding educationists as VCs. Dr V C Kulandaiswamy served three terms followed by Dr M Anandakrishnan who had two terms. Both were internationally renowned academics who commanded respect for their rich and extensive contributions.

Since then we witnessed an arubathumoovar-like procession of vice chancellors with short tenures of just three years. Almost their first year is spent on understanding and getting into the nuts and bolts of administration. The second and third is meant to curry favour with the powers that be to get a second term or to get a similar posting in another university in the state. The inevitable money power creeps in.

The equally venerated Madras University has undergone a similar course. The university, which had at its helm renowned educationists like Dr A L Mudalilar, who had the longest tenure of 27 years and Dr Malcolm S Adiseshiah, who earlier served as the Deputy Director General of UNESCO with over 40 honorary doctorates across the globe to his credit, has been through a traumatic course when even the short three-year term was cut short for a few. There has been intense lobbying for membership of the search committee and bidding for the post of VC. We seem to be moving towards IPL auction-type system with aspirants making the highest offers for getting the post. The absence of concern for filling the post well before the expiry of the term of the incumbent VC, indicates the scope for canvassing with the powers that be. Can we otherwise explain the vacancy of the VCs’ posts for several top universities of Tamil Nadu including Madras University, Anna University and the Madurai Kamaraj University remaining vacant for this long?

Time was when the Secretary of Education or even the Minister of Education used to seek an appointment to meet VCs like Malcolm Adiseshiah. Recently we witnessed the VCs seeking darshan of Sasikala aka Chinnamma, charged with serious corruption practices that landed her in jail thereafter.

In this system even a meritorious educationist like Dr E Balaguruswami got hit. His tenure ended with just one term. Today you find around 100 ex-VCs floating around!

 The course of private universities is not much different: dominated by politicians, traders and businessmen, these have evolved as flourishing businesses. The vast stretches of land acquired through overt and covert means have appreciated in value though the other infrastructure and quality of staff and students are in a pathetic state. Just look at half the under-grads in engineering not getting through the exams in the first year! Several of these have been built on the illegal and pernicious system of capitation fees.

At the 150th year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr Anandakrishnan was asked: ”when can an Indian university/academic/institution gain the reputation of a Caltech, Princeton, MIT or Cambridge?” His answer was poignant: “in a system where appointments of vice chancellors were decided by political leaders and when university vice chancellors are the sons/daughters and daughters-in-law of the promoters/proprietors and most of whom are politicians or small time businessmen, how can this happen?” He contrasted this with the reputation as an educationist built over decades needed to be appointed a president of any reputed western university.


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