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