Published: 16th October 2020
After political storm, Anna University researchers back VC over sending Institute of Eminence letter
The university's Vice-Chancellor Dr M K Surappa had previously written to the Union Government seeking an Institute of Eminence tag for the university
Following in the steps of the Teachers' Association, a few Anna University researchers have extended their support to the Vice-Chancellor Dr M K Surappa, who wrote to the Union Government seeking some support towards procuring the Institute of Eminence tag for the university. The letter had created a lot of hue and cry among and political organisations had sought Surappa's resignation.
The protesting organisations included the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) as the IoE status may change the reservation status of the university. This claim was dismissed by the Vice-Chancellor.
The researchers say that an IoE tag will allow more funding and improves the quality of research. "Currently, the university has a dearth of funds to support research. Only around twenty per cent of the researchers here get a stipend. That too is too less an amount compared to what the researchers in the Central government-run institutes get. In fact, private colleges produce better quality research, since they have enough funding," says Preethi Ramadoss, a researcher. "There were times when we had to spend money from our pockets to buy the chemicals for our experiments. This would never happen in an IIT," she says, adding that Surappa is only seeking what is best for the university. Other researchers also agreed with this viewpoint thought they did not wish to be named.
The state of affairs currently isn't that great in the university, she says. "There is, in fact, a shortage of faculty and proper labs. This is one reason why we haven't been able to produce quality research in the past few years. The number of researchers who go abroad on projects or get their articles published in foreign journals is very low compared to other universities," she says, adding that many of her peers have quit research owing to this. "An IoE tag could take care of a lot of these issues. Once the university comes under the central government, there won't be any shortage of funds. The chances of research quality improvement also increase. The IoE status only impacts the researchers and will not cause any change for the other courses," she says, adding that some people are overly politicising the issue.