Amid protests against the bifurcation of Chennai’s Anna University, members of the Anna University Teachers Association (AUTA) have written to Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit seeking his appointment to discuss the issue.
The AUTA and the vice chancellor of Anna University have also written to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and state minister for Higher Education, K P Anbalagan against the bifurcation.
During the ongoing monsoon session at the Tamil Nadu Assembly in Chennai’s Kalaivanar Arangam, Anbalagan had tabled a bill proposing a bifurcation of Anna University. The bill, which was passed last Thursday, has not gone down well with the staff at Anna University.
Voicing their dissent, AUTA members have been protesting since Monday. Wearing black badges, AUTA said that the bifurcation will undo all the hard work that had gone into making Anna University a reputed institute of learning in Chennai.
“It is as simple as the fact that when something has had a name for years and is changed suddenly, nobody will like it. Moreover, our patents, papers, credibility and rating have all been built on the name Anna University. For over 40 years, Anna University has maintained its name even as other colleges come and go”, I. Arul Aram, president of AUTA told Indianexpress.com.
According to Arul, Anna University had been established as competition to the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M). “The late Chief Minister Dr. M G Ramachandran had told the former vice chancellor of Anna University, the late Dr. V C Kulandaisamy, that there was a need for a world-class institution within the state government that can compete with IIT Madras and that is how Anna University was born,” he claimed.
Anna University, which was established in 1978, is among the top government institutes in Tamil Nadu and consists of four colleges – College of Engineering, Alagappa College of Technology, Madras Institute of Technology and School of Architecture and Planning. Named after former Chief Minister C N Annadurai, the university is also a parent institute for all engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu.
As per Anbalagan’s proposal, the parent institute will be renamed as Anna Technological and Research University and the institute under which all the state engineering colleges will be affiliated will be called Anna University.
Arul said that a parent institution losing its name to a daughter institute during bifurcation was unheard of. “We have already spoken to the Chief Minister, who assured us that Anna University will retain its name. They can always rename the other one instead of our university,” he said.
Arul said that the next step would be to challenge the bifurcation in the court of law if talks with the Governor and Chief Minister fail.
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