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

At the 150 year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr M Anandakrishnan was asked: “when will an Indian University gain the renown of a Stanford, Harvard, MIT or Cambridge university?” The former Vice Chancellor of Anna University responded that in the present scheme of things this is unlikely for quite some time. He pointed to higher education in our country outside government is largely an edu-business: “these were promoted and owned by families of politicians, real estate barons or other sundry businessmen. Rarely one finds an educationist heading or managing a higher educational institute. He pointed to the Provost or President of MIT, Princeton or any prestigious Business School invariably a renowned academic. And contrasted it with the sons, daughters or in-laws (and outlaws) functioning as the pro-chancellors and vice chancellors of our educational institutions!

Happily some rules have changed making it mandatory to appoint only academicians of some standing as vice chancellors though the characters of most of these institutions continue as money making edu-business.

For state-owned universities in Tamil Nadu the political leadership in power decides the process of selection  and hence the person for the post. The short tenure compounds the deficiency.

One finds vast difference between the fees charged by government-owned institutions and those run by private businessmen. Huge capitation fees have been collected, mostly in black. A few of these, bestowing care on quality faculty, have earned a reputation and hence better custom. These have invested on rich infrastructure.

SRM University and allied institutions are perhaps the most visible examples of the prosperity of the education business. The promoters have expanded in several directions ranging from multi-specialty hospitals, software, television and print media.

While most other private institutions of higher education are diversions from politics to education (eg. VIT, Sathyabama), the SRM promoter seems to play the reverse role: from education to politics. How adroitly he presented Narendra Modi for the latter’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections and also had him as the chief guest at the university convocation. Like The Hindu’s N Ram sensing the change in mood of the nation and hosting a private dinner for A B Vajpayee before the elections in 1998, putting aside his Mani Shankar Ayyar like aversion to the RSS and BJP!

 

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