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