Former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, Professor M Anandakrishnan, passed away due to COVID-19 in Chennai on May 29. The 93-year-old is survived by his wife and four sons. A Padma Shri recipient, Anandakrishnan has also served as the former Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Kanpur and he was proposed as a senate nominee to the panel entrusted with finding a Vice-Chancellor for University of Madras last year.
Anandakrishnan was a well-known educationist and his important contributions in education include the scrapping of entrance exams for admission to professional courses and introducing Tamil as a medium for technical education. A decade ago, during former Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi's regime, Anandakrishnan led a committee and based on the recommendation of his committee, the state government abolished the entrance examination for professional courses.
Remembering his works, condolences are pouring from several sections of the people. DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "It's saddening to hear about the death of Anandakrishnan, who was the former VC of Anna University and Former Chairman of IIT Kanpur." "Whenever I used to meet him during my flight journeys, he would talk about how education should uplift the society and be a path for social justice. He is a man much respected by Kalaignar Karunanidhi. I extend my condolences to his family and friends," she said.
Patrick Ramond, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation, took to social media, and said, "It is shocking to hear about the death of Dr Anandakrishnan. He was an exceptional educationist and recently he also explained about the dangerous proposal in the National Education Policy 2020."
"His demise is a huge loss especially at the time when there are so many challenges in the education field. I extend my condolences to his family members," he said.
Professor Anandakrishnan was also a trustee of Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL). The Library staff expressed their condolences too: "Today is a very sad day for us at RMRL. Our senior most trustee and a well-wisher, Prof Mu Anandakrishnan passed away. He was healthy and we canâ€™t believe this. He was a champion of education and more specifically computer education for the masses."
"When we were struggling to run our monthly lecture series, he came in, supported the cause which will go on perpetually. Each time there was a crisis, he came in as a saviour. We will all miss him. May he rest in peace," the Library said.