Twist, Turns on Higher Education Front

Twist, Turns on Higher Education Front

The AU incident sent shock waves across the whole academia and was one of the rarest cases where a VC was suspended on charges of corruption. This apart, the year did not prove good for educational institutions seeking unitary university status, as it was strongly opposed by the teachers’ associations. The move by the state to convert the five government colleges into unitary university was also opposed tooth and nail. The matter was referred to a Select Committee, which also had a public hearing.

The suspension of Anna University (Coimbatore) Vice – Chancellor Prof. R. Radhakrishnan after the DVAC filed cases against him threw bad light on higher education scenario in 2009 here, where the concept of unitary university was still the bone of contention.

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) raided the house and office of the VC and reportedly gathered evidence for amassing wealth disproportionate to his income.

After getting the consent of the government, the DVAC proceeded in taking action against an officer, who was holding such high office as that of Vice – Chancellor.

The matter was taken to the High Court where a debate took momentum whether there was provision to suspend the VC.

Later, the state government in its order had said that the VC was placed under suspension until further orders, in the interest of the public.

This incident had sent shock waves across the whole academia and this was one of the rarest cases where a VC was suspended on charges of corruption.

Now, the AU, here, whose campus is situated at Jothipuram on the Mettupalayam road, was taking care of the needs of the students, under Prof. T. Kannadasan, who was holding the office temporarily.

This apart, the year did not prove good for educational institutions seeking unitary university status, as it was strongly opposed by the teachers’ associations.

The move by the state to convert the five government colleges into unitary university was also opposed tooth and nail. The matter was referred to a Select Committee, which also had a public hearing.

The Kulandaisamy Committee, which was looking into the issue, is said to have completed its report and submitted to the state government. This is considered crucial, because what observation is made in the report is important for teachers as well as students.

It is to be noted that even before the report was made public, or the state announced about receiving the report, the associations, like the Association of University Teachers (AUT), who were opposing the move smelled something and started to raise their voices against the report.

On the other hand, the Association of Management of Private Colleges (AMPC) voiced in favour of the conversion of colleges into unitary universities.

With the year coming to an end, the associations hope there can be soon a solution to the issue.

However, if the report is unfavorable to the opposing members, then one can expect a series of demonstrations and other forms of protest, as the associations have already drawn their plan of action, which includes fasting and boycotting examination related works.

Such protests are sure to affect the functioning of the higher educational institutions, including the government institutions, hard.

“We are hopeful of the Chief Minster’s assurance earlier that their government would not act against the interests of teachers and students,” believes the opposing associations.

While this was on the academic side, the issue of ragging hogged the limelight when students of an aided college here allegedly in – dulged in ragging and were escaping the police net.

At the Coimbatore Medical College too, ragging was reported and action was taken against the students who indulged in it.

While these institutions threw the colleges and education scenario in a bad light, with its strength of both arts and science colleges is moving ahead in giving quality higher education.

It remains to be seen how many issues will be settled to make higher education a step above.