Lakhs of students who have pending arrears have been caught in the middle of a crossfire between the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Anna University and the government of Tamil Nadu. While Anna University maintains that the AICTE has sent an email warning that it will revoke approvals granted to it if it goes ahead with cancelling pending arrear exams and declaring the students pass, the government of Tamil Nadu has reiterated that the students will be declared pass.
On Tuesday, a screenshot of an email purportedly sent on August 30, 2020 by the Chairman of the AICTE Anil Sahasrabudhe to the Vice Chancellor of Anna University MK Surappaâ€™s personal e-mail address went viral on social media. â€śItâ€™s surprising that final year degree students, who had failed in various courses in the earlier semesters are being passed without conducting examinations. This is not acceptable to award marks without conducting any examination and graduating the students. Such students will not be recognised by industry or by other universities for higher education. AICTE will be constrained to withdraw the approval of Anna University,â€ť the email said. While the authenticity of the email could not be independently verified, MK Surappa confirmed that he had indeed received an email from AICTE on similar lines and had forwarded the same to the state government. â€śI have not seen the screenshot that is circulating on social media today. I have not released any screenshot of the email. But I had received an email from AICTE on the topic a few days ago and I have forwarded that to the state government,â€ť he told TNM.
A few days ago, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami had that all students, except in final semester, will be declared pass and arrears will be disregarded. He added that those students will be awarded marks based on the guidelines stipulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and AICTE.
This was reitrated by Tamil Naduâ€™s minister for higher education KP Anbalagan, The Minister also said that the government has not received any email from AICTE. He also reportedly urged MK Surappa to release the email out in public.
Coming down on the government for keeping the students guessing, Jayaprakash Gandhi, an education consultant said that the state government and Anna University should work towards clearing the ambiguity around the issue. â€śThe students might feel happy now, but they should remember that the industry and other institutes of higher education are watching us. The state government should have conveyed their decision on arrear exams to the UGC and AICTE. At least now, the state government must write to AICTE and the union ministry of education about this and take it forward,â€ť he said.
Adding that the copy of the AICTE letter thatâ€™s doing the rounds was sent to MK Surappaâ€™s personal email ID, Jayaprakash Gandhi said all the communication related to the matter must be official and all relevant parties should be involved.
â€śApart from this, the government should consider an exit test for engineers in the country as a marker for their quality and employability. When we have a Teachersâ€™ Eligibility Test and similar tests for other professions, why not for engineers? This will help raise the credibility of the engineers graduating from Indian universities,â€ť he added.