Thursday, February 22, 2007

Uday's transfer...

It has come as a surprise. All of a sudden, Madurai Collector T Udayachandran has been shifted to Erode. Uday was the man who was solely responsible for the successful elections in the three reserved panchayats in the last decade.

Fittingly though, one of the presidents said he would self-immolate if Uday is transferred. But Uday has been replaced by Erode collector Karthikeyan. The panchayat presidents have been pacified.

But why was Uday transferred? It should be recalled that Uday, as the MD of ELCOT, was the one who refused to sign in the Singapore real estate deal in Siruseri IT Park when AIADMK was in power. Put under compulsory wait, Uday got married and waited till the DMK returned to power.

Collectorship of Madurai was to appreciate his honesty. The only problem in the posting was that the collector had to deal with the CM's uncrowned son of the south. Inspite of it, Uday survived, solely for the reason he was able to reintroduce democracy, even if it is farce, in the three reserved panchayats.

Predictably, Uday got close to the Communists, without whom it might not have been possible. It started irritating the CM's second son. Secondly, Uday was the only officer in the temple city not to greet the second son on his birthday. Even the CM came down to wish him. It was then, the present transfer was decided.

Of late, Uday was also not signing in papers sent by the second son. So, the shift. Uday, away from the hot seat, will be happy to move into the quietness of Erode in the days to come.

hey girl, i'm sorry

This is the latest joke going around in the Anna University campus. The Dean of Guindy Engineering College, a softspoke man, was irritated as the sweeper lady was not doing her duty properly for sometime. Few days ago, he tore her apart for not keeping the place clean. As an afterthought, the Dean apologised to her. She was surprised. He said: ``Sorry, Who knows, may be you will become the vice chancellor of the university soon!'' Now, the Anna University vice chancellor D Viswanathan, also thought to be an extremely uncapable fellow for the job, also knows the joke. Only he may not smile.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

the common university bill

So, the Pro Chancellor, the State Education Minister, has drafted a Common University Bill, 2007. (CUB7). The Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education, a toothless body, with retired academicians, as the head has drafted CUB7. For administrative convenience.

Remeber that it is about higher education. Page one says we need to change the system. Ok. And it says the bill talks about seven things. First, it will be subjected to periodical updation. Fine. The next six points talk about appointments. Appointments only. From vice chancellors to almost the peons. It has a place for a new post, pro vice chancellor now. Remember that the Pro has failed miserably to make money out of VC appointments till now.

Academic council and senate will be merged into academic senate. Tom, dick and harry, meaning politicians, journalists and panchayat fellows find representation in it. I cant think of these fellows, nominated, contributing to the cause of education.

Syndicate will no more be elected. Already, they are the puppets of the vice chancellors. In the new act, there will be only two elected representatives. all others are basically nominated by this or that.

Besides, the TANSCHE has the over riding powers to take any university as it likes by making inspections. As far as I know, it only has that good old member secretary dusting off the files, with a couple of clerks, as and when he likes.

Moreover, the university professors can be booked under IPC (some section, i think its 21) and may be arrested in the premises and jailed later, I suppose. There are many more sections. All about administration and appointments.

Not even a page for curriculum development, faculty improvement, introducing UG courses at the universities, enhancing the sources of funding, research impetus and so on. Are these the criteria that a state has to look to in terms of higher education.

The verdict is: The CUB7 is not about education per se. It is all about control.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

vice chancellors!

The new government in power has got it terribly wrong. All the vice chancellors appointed till date have been political postings.

The first to get the post, in Bharatiar University in Coimbatore, paid Rs 41 lakhs. Through the chief minister's first son. Now, wherever he goes, he proudly recalls how he fell at the feet of chief minister, who was kind enough to give him his tamil books to be translated. Foolish, he also admits that he felt stupid when the President asked him about the books, in linguistics, he had presented to His Excellency.

The one at the varsity celebrating 150 years has paid half C. He got it through the union shipper and the state planner. His ultimate aim is to get into that maritime university. That is something of a money at 100 C. For that half a C is peanut.

Again, the latest to have been posted as the technical vice chancellors have also rumoured to have paid big. The personal secretary, who was the ``doctoral guide'' to several eminent personalities like the governor's personal secretary for 11 years, the president of the self-financing engineering colleges, who's stupid enough to flaunt his fluency in spoken english, to name a few, has paid a cool 1 C.

all in the name of education. Poor pro-chancellor got nothing for him. So he has a plan.

Continued Tomorrow...

Stories From The Soul Town

There lies a magical land. Surrounded by the green ghats to the west, gurgling great rivers on the east, the valley with the very blue sky. A temple town of the tamils. Sitting on the dancing rock on the highland overlooking the valley, the writer procreates the lives of the people of this lesser known south west. Full of strange yet simple souls.