The former director of IIT Ropar and honorary professor at IISc Bangalore, M.K. Surappa has appointed as new vice-chancellor of Anna University.
After personally interviewing the three shortlisted candidates on Thursday, Governor Banwarilal Purohit made the appointment thus ending a nearly two-year long wait for a vice-chancellor. The other two shortlisted candidates were UGC vice-chairman H. Devaraj and S. Ponnusamy, a retired professor of Mathematics in IIT Madras.
After three rounds, the committee has eliminated 140 applications and ranked the remaining candidates based on their qualifications. Following the ranking process, it has called 9 shortlisted candidates for interview.
Anna University Teachers’ Association welcomed the appointment. “AUTA will extend full support and co-operation to the new Vice-Chancellor,” it said in a statement. Some political leaders have opposed this appointment as the new V-C is hailing from outside the state.
DMK Working President MK Stalin has warned the Governor against saffronising TN university campuses while PMK founder S Ramadoss has said that students will be mobilised to protest against the appointment. S. Ramadoss also said the appointment does not respect the feelings of the Tamil people and was condemnable.
DMK working President MK Stalin took to multiple social media platforms to make his displeasure be heard. He began with saying that appointing a Vice Chancellor from Karnataka was not advisable during the ongoing tensions over the Cauvery dispute.
“We ask the Governor to not belittle the scholars and academicians from Tamil nadu by bringing people in a row from outside for various positions. There should also be no attempt made to saffronise the educational premises in Tamil Nadu,” said MK Stalin in tweet, late on Thursday night.
The PMK leader said when there were good educationists in Tamil Nadu, “importing” a person from another state was not acceptable.
He said no Tamilian was appointed as Vice Chancellor for Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, Pondicherry University and The Indian Maritime University for a long time.
DK leader K Veeramani meanwhile has reportedly termed the appointment of a Kannadiga V-C as a shame.
Activists in the field of education meanwhile have welcomed the appointment.
“Surappa is known for his excellent work at IIT Ropar which catapulted the institute into one of the most sought after educational destinations amongst the IITs. There have been no complaints against him and he has a large body of work to prove his eligibility,” says educationist Jayaprakash Gandhi. “At this point of time Anna University needs a vice Chancellor who will work for its development and welfare of students. The last few appointees to the post have been accused of corruption. So, there is nothing wrong in appointing a man who has a clean image and has proven his capability already,” he adds.