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