These are some of the very few instances of maladministration, misgovernance, and misuse of power happening in the universities in Tamil Nadu.
Anna University, rated as a leading center of learning in Tamil Nadu, finds itself in a most embarrassing situation as the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), the super police of the State government, had filed a First Information Report (FIR) naming ten academicians in the University on charges of corruption.
“The posts of vice-chancellors in Tamil Nadu universities are being auctioned and the highest bidder walks away with the post.”
Prof G V Uma, former controller of examination, Anna University has been suspended by the authorities following the DVAC naming her as the first accused in the FIR. The findings by the DVAC which probed the case baffle all educationists, students, and parents. The charge is that Prof Uma along with nine teachers in the University took Rs 10,000 from each of the students who applied for revaluation of their answer sheets to get their marks increased.
The DVAC report states that 3, 02,380 students applied for revaluation in the university examinations held in the months of April-May 2017. Out of this, 73,733 passed while 16,636 got enhanced marks. This is the case which has been reported for the year 2017. There were allegations of mark scandal in Anna University in 2012 also but no action has been taken against it.
The modus operandi being followed by the controller of examination and the team of examiners was simple. They collect Rs 10,000 in cash from each of the students, alter the answer sheets, morph them and destroy the original scripts. There is a clause which states that if the enhanced marks are above 15 percent than that of the original marks the answer script has to be counter checked by another examiner. It is here the “Team Anna University” meddles and tamper with the answer sheets. Most of the engineering graduates passed out of the Anna University have managed to procure high marks through this process,” a DVAC official told Team PGurus.
Many educationists in Tamil Nadu, as well as representatives of industry bodies like Confederation of Indian Industries, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, have expressed their disillusion with the quality of the graduates of Anna University.
“Almost 75 percent of the Anna University engineering graduates whom we interviewed were not employable. They lacked basic skills, basic knowledge and above all even common sense,” said one of the FICCI honchos who had interviewed engineering graduates as part of campus selection programme.
The recent developments underscore the importance of warnings issued by Prof M Ananthakrishnan, former vice-chancellor of Anna University as well as former head of the IIT Kanpur. “The posts of vice-chancellors in Tamil Nadu universities are being auctioned and the highest bidder walks away with the post. Last heard, the post commanded a premium of Rs 20 crore,” Prof Ananthakrishnan had declared some time back.
What is interesting is that the mark revaluation scam comes immediately after Prof M K Surappa took over as the vice-chancellor of the University.
During the 2001-2006 rule of Jayalalithaa, the vice-chancellors’ posts were given to persons who were willing to part with Rs Five crore. Over a period of time, the amount increased up to Rs Seven crore. When the DMK led by Karunanidhi won the 2006 assembly election, what the government did was to increase the avenues to mobilize more money through bribes. The sprawling Anna University campus spread across the State was split into Anna University (Chennai), Anna University (Tiruchi), Anna University (Madurai) and Anna University (Coimbatore). This means the DMK could get a total of Rs 28 crore through the appointments of vice-chancellors in Anna Universities alone. Muthuvel Karunanidhi has been described as the master of scientific corruption by the Justice Ranjith Singh Sarkaria Commission appointed by the then Indira Gandhi government in 1976 to probe the depth of misdeeds committed by the Karunanidhi clan.
Recently, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, the young leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi, the political outfit floated by the Vanniyar community had submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Tamil Nadu listing a series of corruption charges against the Tamil Nadu government. The memorandum has listed the magnitude of corruption taking place in the higher education sector in the State and PGurus had featured it prominently in its entirety.
What is interesting is that the mark revaluation scam comes immediately after Prof M K Surappa took over as the vice-chancellor of the University. Prof Surappa, an eminent professor was appointed as vice chancellor by Governor Purohit much to the annoyance and irritation of Tamil chauvinist leaders who expressed their displeasure over the Governor overlooking the interests of Tamil nationalists while considering the names to be appointed as vice-chancellor. The truth is that no educationists with some sort of self – respect in them would dare to come to Anna University because of the dominance of the Periariites and Dravidians.
What is discussed about Anna University in the social media is an eye-opener. Please remember that these are comments posted by some of the most respected educationists and intellectuals in the country.
“TN has most Ph.D. candidates enrolled in India. In 17-18 out of 1.62 lakh all over India –30k -19% is in TN With Anna University showing the way–Rs 5 lakh for a Ph.D., TN is marching ahead:)) .”
“Any yearly sales target sir?”.
“I love this Anna Univ Ph.D. scam–Bet 2012 to 2017 nearly 5000 got PhDs –rate 5 to 10 lakhs –Entrance exam to register–reduced from 60 to 30 marks–all viva done bet 0900 hrs and 0930 hrs–Actually one student I interviewed for a job said he forgot his Ph.D. thesis title ! “
Mark list and revaluation scams had rocked Anna University in 2012 also when some of the faculty members who were working as examiners charged that there was pressure on them to enhance the marks of certain students belonging to the engineering branch. Prof Surappa told reporters that he had ordered for an in-house probe into the recent allegations by a committee constituted by him and the DVAC probe is a fall out of the action taken on the findings of the institutional investigation.
The Tamil Nadu police had recently arrested an assistant professor by name Nirmala Devi for her attempts to woo girl students for flesh trade in return for money and other benefits.
But Prof Uma has denied all charges made in the FIR and claimed that she was the one who stood like a rock against corruption and misdeeds by the university officials. The higher centres of learning in Tamil Nadu, which should have been known as institutions offering Three Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) have become famous for Three Ws (Wine, Women and Wealth)!. This is not a mere allegation. Most of the modern day educationists in Tamil Nadu who own universities and educational institutions were/ are bootleggers, pimps, and hawala operators.
The Tamil Nadu police had recently arrested an assistant professor by name Nirmala Devi for her attempts to woo girl students for flesh trade in return for money and other benefits. Nirmala Devi was working as an assistant professor in a private college in Aruppukottai which has been affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University. Some of the girls in the college complained to college authorities that Nirmala Devi was persuading them to offer sexual offers to some of the higher-ups in the University in return for material gains. The professor in her 30s is still in prison.
The most embarrassing moment for Tamil Nadu’s higher education sector came out this year when Prof Ganapathy, the vice chancellor of Bharatiyar University was caught red-handed by the DVAC while he was accepting a bribe from an applicant for the post of assistant professor.
These are some of the very few instances of maladministration, misgovernance, and misuse of power happening in the universities in Tamil Nadu. There was another report about the chancellor of a private university eloping with her boyfriend dumping her husband and children.
The education sector in Tamil Nadu has become a cesspool of corruption and misdeeds.