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