Nearly a year after the state government announced the merger of the five Anna Universities of Technology with Anna University in Chennai, chief minister J Jayalalithaa formally announced the merger on Sunday, 22nd July, 2012. The order will come into effect on 1st August. Students graduating this year will receive degrees issued by the unified Anna University.
"This move will ensure that Anna University regains its lost pride and global reputation. By bringing all technical institutions under one umbrella, all students will get to study a common syllabus, which will help them take up research and higher studies of a global standard," the release said. A government order on the merger will be issued on Monday, 23rd July, 2012. With this move, the 535 engineering colleges in the state, affiliated to AUTs in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli, will be affiliated to Anna University, Chennai, as it was before the AUTs were formed.
The 12 constituent colleges of the respective AUTs will now become the constituent colleges of Anna University, Chennai, like the Guindy College of Engineering, AC Tech, MIT and SAP School of Architecture. The university departments in the five AUTs will also become attached to Anna University, Chennai. Higher education minister P Palaniappan told TOI that from 1st August there will be only one vice-chancellor for Anna University.
"The current vice-chancellors of the AUTs will go back to their original jobs in colleges. If they have reached or crossed 60 years, which is the retirement age of a university professor, they will have to go home," he said. The minister added that the AUT VCs will not be staying back as directors of the zonal offices or deans of the constituent colleges, as the officers will be decided by the syndicate of Anna University.
For administrative convenience, zonal offices will be set up in Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Tirunelveli, which will monitor the running of affiliated institutions and address students' grievances. Students pursuing UG and PG courses in AUT university departments will continue their studies through the zonal centres. Examinations for all students will be conducted by Anna University through its 17 regional offices.
A statement from the government said the monitoring committee headed by Sheela Balakrishnan, additional chief secretary, municipal administration and water supply department, submitted a report on the merger to the chief minister, who ordered the merger. The committee considered the status of the students, teaching and non-teaching staff of the five Anna Universities of Technology and the movable and immoveable assets of the institutes while preparing the report.
Speaking to reporters earlier, the minister said that once the merger is announced, a new syndicate will be formed after which a search committee will be set up to look for a VC for Anna University. This process is expected to take around three months. Anna University is now governed by a three-member convenor committee comprising director of technical education Ramesh Chand Meena, AC Tech dean P Kaliraj and CEG dean M Sekar.
Some of the AUT vice-chancellors have crossed 60, but are hopeful of being considered for the post of vice-chancellor of Anna University. "The recent decision of the state to adopt the UGC regulation to extend the age of the VC in state universities to 70 has given these senior academics hope that this rule would also be adopted in Anna University," said a senior faculty member in one of the AUTs.
Courtesy: Times of India