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

IE has been frequently pointing to the pathetic state of affairs of universities in Tamil Nadu. There has been crass political interference. As in politics, caste considerations have become a dominant factor and merit the casualty. For some two decades now, institutionalised system of corruption that pervades Tamil Nadu has taken deep roots in higher education as well. Look at the course of Guindy Engineering College, among the three oldest engineering colleges: for decades it enjoyed a prestige that spread across the globe for churning out graduates of outstanding merit. Its standards, systems and output were on par with the IITs. When the Anna University was formed, it had outstanding educationists as VCs. Dr V C Kulandaiswamy served three terms followed by Dr M Anandakrishnan who had two terms. Both were internationally renowned academics who commanded respect for their rich and extensive contributions.

Since then we witnessed an arubathumoovar-like procession of vice chancellors with short tenures of just three years. Almost their first year is spent on understanding and getting into the nuts and bolts of administration. The second and third is meant to curry favour with the powers that be to get a second term or to get a similar posting in another university in the state. The inevitable money power creeps in.

The equally venerated Madras University has undergone a similar course. The university, which had at its helm renowned educationists like Dr A L Mudalilar, who had the longest tenure of 27 years and Dr Malcolm S Adiseshiah, who earlier served as the Deputy Director General of UNESCO with over 40 honorary doctorates across the globe to his credit, has been through a traumatic course when even the short three-year term was cut short for a few. There has been intense lobbying for membership of the search committee and bidding for the post of VC. We seem to be moving towards IPL auction-type system with aspirants making the highest offers for getting the post. The absence of concern for filling the post well before the expiry of the term of the incumbent VC, indicates the scope for canvassing with the powers that be. Can we otherwise explain the vacancy of the VCs’ posts for several top universities of Tamil Nadu including Madras University, Anna University and the Madurai Kamaraj University remaining vacant for this long?

Time was when the Secretary of Education or even the Minister of Education used to seek an appointment to meet VCs like Malcolm Adiseshiah. Recently we witnessed the VCs seeking darshan of Sasikala aka Chinnamma, charged with serious corruption practices that landed her in jail thereafter.

In this system even a meritorious educationist like Dr E Balaguruswami got hit. His tenure ended with just one term. Today you find around 100 ex-VCs floating around!

 The course of private universities is not much different: dominated by politicians, traders and businessmen, these have evolved as flourishing businesses. The vast stretches of land acquired through overt and covert means have appreciated in value though the other infrastructure and quality of staff and students are in a pathetic state. Just look at half the under-grads in engineering not getting through the exams in the first year! Several of these have been built on the illegal and pernicious system of capitation fees.

At the 150th year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr Anandakrishnan was asked: ”when can an Indian university/academic/institution gain the reputation of a Caltech, Princeton, MIT or Cambridge?” His answer was poignant: “in a system where appointments of vice chancellors were decided by political leaders and when university vice chancellors are the sons/daughters and daughters-in-law of the promoters/proprietors and most of whom are politicians or small time businessmen, how can this happen?” He contrasted this with the reputation as an educationist built over decades needed to be appointed a president of any reputed western university.


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