October 31, 2020
TED NewsDesk, Chennai: Roughly 80 academicians and activists wrote an open letter to the State government urging it to reject Anna University’s Institute of Eminence tag in writing and not to carry out the bifurcation. The bifurcation, they suggest, will deteriorate the quality of higher education in the State, as per some of the signatories speaking at a virtual event on Thursday.
Once the Anna University is split, affiliating colleges will no longer need to follow the standards developed for the parent varsity, professor A Marx said during the event. “Though the government has rejected the IoE status verbally, it has not done so in writing yet. The government is still keeping its options open,” he alleged. “Once the IoE tag is received, the institution can enrol foreign students for 30% of total seats. It will deprive Tamil students access to the top university in the State for engineering courses,” he added.
Although the Centre clarified that Tamil Nadu’s 69% reservation policy would be upheld, it has not explained how it will be implemented without compromising with the requirements for IoE status, State Platform for Common School System general secretary PB Prince Ganjendrababu pointed out. Apprehensions over this came to the forefront when the University Grants Commission (UGC), in its regulation for IoEs stated, “The public Institutions of Eminence shall implement the reservation policy in admissions and recruitment under any Act of Parliament for the time being in force.” The bifurcation may also push many smaller colleges to shut down, Ganjendrababu further said. The former head of the Tamil department at University of Madras V Arasu said that Anna University had also committed to the Centre to raise its funds. “IIT-Madras, which is just across the road from the varsity, hiked its fees from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Anna University cannot become a place only for the rich and affluent simply because it is conferred a status,” he said.
The Central government can instead create a brand new institute of eminence in Chennai instead of altering the State’s most reputed university, opined former justice D Hariparanthaman. Suppose students within the state face difficulty in finding admissions to the best educational institute because of this new measure. In that case, the academics against the move should be addressed so that due accessibility of education does not suffer.
Sources: New Indian Express