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Kulandai was a giant

Dr V C Kulandaiswamy (VCK), the distinguished educationist, laid a solid basis for an explosive growth in engineering education and distant learning. The first Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, he is remembered for the systems he initiated during his nine-year tenure. Later, he took charge as the Vice Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.VCK will be remembered for the Kulandaiswamy model that dealt with rainfall runoff. He made an enormous contribution to Tamil literature translating English textbooks in medicine and engineering into Tamil. He won the Sahitya Akademi award. He maintained close relations with both MGR and M Karunanidhi. I remember VCK for his bold suggestion to target taking three per cent of creamy beneficiaries off the reservation list. This reduction, he reasoned, will help move towards total elimination of reservation in 33 years.  Of course, in the caste-dominated politics of  Tamil Nadu, no government will have the gall to do it. Dr M Anandakrishnan followed the high standards that VCK set at the Anna University. Unfortunately today, politics and money power play havoc in the selection of vice-chancellors.  The university also did not live up to VCK’s insistence on running it as a unitary university. The affiliated status has only contributed to mushrooming of engineering colleges in the state that number over 600 with a good number of these run by politicians and offer indifferent quality.

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