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

It required munificence and foresight to conceive and set up a University, at a time when higher education institutions were driven by altruism, and not profit. Annamalai Chettiar did just that when he established the Annamalai University in 1929. And he left it to stalwarts such as V S Srinivasa Sastri, Dr C P Ramaswamy Iyer, T P Meenakshisundaram Pillai, R P Sethu Pillai, S Somasundara Bharathiar, Kathirasan Chettiar, M M Dhandapani Desikar... to take the institution to greater heights. The university earned the reputation for imparting quality education and produced outstanding graduates. The university made a mark in scientific research as also in commerce and economics. Renowned population expert  Dr. S Chandrasekhar was associated with the university.

Sadly, Chettiar’s successors shifted focus. It began with the university liberally awarding honorary doctorates to the members of the promoters’ family and to politicians. The award of such an honorary degree to M Karunanidhi soon after he assumed power led to protests, which claimed the life of one student. The decline was more rapid after the university tasted money from its engineering and medical colleges. It pioneered the introduction of capitation fees for higher education. This was also a very powerful tool; the rare privilege of a seat in medical or engineering college could be utilised to curry favour with politicians, senior civil servants, leading businessmen and professionals like doctors.

Understandably, when admissions were offered for a price, a system had to be introduced for taking care of the progression of such a ‘donor’ student through the year-end exams. The system of proxy writers and manipulation of answer papers all followed. In this, unfortunately, academics also had to collaborate. In such a system, discipline, character, academic pursuit and excellence were the casualties. The deterioration was rapid. The promoter family did not bother much about the essential purpose of running the university – providing quality education. Finances were in bad shape, expenditure uncontrolled and administration rotten.

The government, which has been funding the university, had to intervene and set matters right. Shivdas Meena, IAS appointed through an ordinance has been administering the university. Good luck to Shivdas in restoring this temple of learning to good health in quick time at the temple town of Chidambaram. Surprisingly, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, a scion of the Annamalai Chettiar family, is a mute witness to this steep fall of the once-famous university.


Universities galore; but of poor quality

Sadly,  Annamalai University  has been adopted as a model by a slew of institutions of higher learning set up in the state for wrong ends. There are over 540 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu and scores of medical, arts and science colleges. Several of these are flourishing business enterprises run by businessmen and politicians. In most such private institutions, the management is in the hands of the promoter families. The huge demand for engineering and medical education has enabled several of these to collect humungous capitation fees (in black). Only a handful of institutions like the SSN College of Engineering and SASTRA University strictly abide by the fee structure and merit-based admissions.

The situation in state-owned institutions is different. Admissions to these follow the norms of reservations and merit. These have a fee structure, which is ridiculously low for medical education. The administration of these, unfortunately, is politicised.  The tenure of a vice-chancellor is limited to three years. Though eligible for re-appointment, it is a rarity. One can imagine the consequence. Almost his first year is spent on understanding and getting into the nuts and bolts of the administration. The second and third years are needed to curry favour with the powers-that-be to get a second term.  The mode of selection is also subject to political influence. A search committee of three members is appointed and the political leadership decides this. Such a committee should recommend three names and the Governor of the state selects one of these. He can also reject all the three and order a fresh search committee acceptable to the Chief Minister.

In such a system, understandably, there is not much prospect for continuity of policies or major reforms and innovation. Look at the reputation earned by the Madras University under A Lakshmanaswamy Mudaliar or Malcolm Adiseshaiah; or Anna University under V C Kulandaiswamy, M Anandakrishnan or E Balagurusami. One doesn’t remember the dozens of others who succeeded. Pursuit of academic excellence with a view to building world  class institutions is not possible in the current system. Powerful politicians such as Jayalalithaa, in the long-term health of the state, should free education from the current system of breeding mediocrity and poor quality.

 

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com