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