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CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Maximising the micro pricing … London, London Narayan Tough task taking states together Mersal magnified Computation of GDP – conundrums continue EVM is tamper-proof The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Permanent secretariat for TN GIM The rise and fall of Annamalai University Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna B H Kothari - a tribute MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways West Bengal: mindless malignancy Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Tax agriculture Building loyalty through the stomach Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Cement prices continue to rise… PC’s preference for professionals Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Why this malaise in medical education? Solar thermal shines… Waning interest in public discussions… TELANGANA at last…BUT Quality silica from Neyveli Solar, solar everywhere … Parliament in paralysis... Towards speedy justice Fuel for thought Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Kinetic Karnataka TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Align crops to agro climate endowments… F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Nuclear power at the nucleus CII projects higher growth… Telangana in top gear… Modi storms Silicon Valley No Maha Koottani in TN... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Valli, they are more marginalised A professional at the helm of IRDA... Things happen by accident and not by design... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Revive development banks... Gas is the way forward Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! 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Pharma – overdose of copying Delhi returns to BJP Tribute Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Editor's Says The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more An inexplicable neglect A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Don’t seem to feel the pulse… GM Technology at last! Russi Mody – a tribute Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami 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 ONGC at KG Basin Five star activism stalls development activity Wise Presidents Kudos to NDTV... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Which side are you, Montek? The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Quality education through the PPP mode Muffled voices for merit… Mu Sigma – is no more The why of tax incentives All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Alexa – Talking Wikipedia The Gulf aviation boom A more liberated TN… EEC at the National Media Centre Why land prices zoom in TN? No engine for this car Sri Lanka votes for change IPL - no surprise this scam China invests in India Breaththrough in malaria control Preserving for the future Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Shale gas and its shallow future The balancing act Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS The Jan Dhan bonanza Put expensive assets created to use... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Gay abandon in pricing The sea- saw battle continues... Fortune for Indian Airlines PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Small units prefers to remain small... Paytm karo... When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Streamlining mandatory third party cover Where is Rajaji? SoA @ 80 Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Build close rapport with business leaders Noble nonagenarians... He saved millions from starvation... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Protest masters... Delhi is distant… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Haul over the coal Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health When online building permits work…. Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy When nations steal growth from one another… Delhi is distant More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders For whom the bell tolls? Strengthen the base... A friendly business group A yen for wastage… A welcome initiative by the judiciary R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Demise of a media baron... L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities More Shakthi to Das’ elbow The Swadeshi Trump Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Silver Years of Madras Musings Fortune 500 review Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Kulandai was a giant A glass full of corruption When Ratan Tata visited SRM TIAM turns a full cycle Funding the un-funded Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Return to king coal for urea... The rise and rise of KCP Welcome GST Boy, can you beat these?
 
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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