Institute of Eminence: Panel formed to bifurcate Anna University

The Tamil Nadu government has formed a committee to bifurcate Anna University after the state cabinet passed a resolution on Wednesday to look into matters related to the Institute of Eminence status accorded to it.

The committee comprises education minister KP Anbalagan, school education minister KA Sengottaiyan, law minister C Ve Shanmugam and fisheries minister D Jayakumar. According to the decision, the university would be bifurcated into two, namely Anna Institute of Eminence and Anna University.

The need for the bifurcation was raised after the minister of human resources development announced that two state universities namely Anna University in Chennai and Jadavpur University in Kolkata were selected by the empowered committee to grant of Institute of Eminence status in early September.

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However, the Ministry had asked Tamil Nadu and West Bengal state governments to inform it about their contribution for the Institute of Eminence scheme. Under the scheme, the Centre would offer up to ₹1000 crores in five years, apart from which the concerned state would be required to contribute.

Though there were no official word about the Tamil Nadu government’s contribution, the state government was more concerned about the reservation system it would follow in admission of students and appointment of the professors.

Clarifying the state government’s doubt in following the reservation, MHRD in its recent letter to Anna University said that the university could follow the existing 69% reservation in all the processes. Subsequently, the state government moved to get the Institute of Eminence tag.

Once Anna University gets the Institute of Eminence tag, the University will not be able to accord affiliation to engineering colleges under it. As of now, as many as 552 engineering colleges including seven government engineering colleges and 21 autonomous colleges are affiliated to the Anna University.

“So, in order to maintain the status to affiliate engineering colleges, the state government has decided to bifurcate the University,” an official associated with the Anna University said.

According to sources, once Anna University gets Institute of Eminence status, it will be free from the control of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). That would allow it to have its own course structure and syllabus.

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