The government of Tamil Nadu has informed the Union government that it does not need Institute of Eminence (IoE) status for Anna University. The state government has also withdrawn the proposal submitted to the Union government in 2017 regarding the IoE tag for the university, as per reports.
The state government, thereby, rejected a financial proposal submitted by the university’s Vice Chancellor MK Surappa, that said that Anna University was capable of generating sufficient funds from its internal resources and need not be dependent on the state government for fund infusion. The Union government has reportedly been informed that the university has no way of generating revenue on its own and hence Surappa’s proposal is not financially sustainable. The state government’s action is based on a report submitted by the five-minister committee set up by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to explore the feasibility of the IoE status for the university.
While Surappa told Times of India that he does not know about the rejection, Tamil Nadu state Minister for Higher Education KP Anbalagan said that the government will use state funds to provide Anna University with whatever IoE provides. The state government also reportedly informed the Union government that Anna University is running on a deficit budget.
Controversy broke out after MK Surappa had written to the Union government directly, stating that the university is capable of generating Rs 314 crore revenue per year from its internal sources and is not dependent on the state government for funding. The letter was in response to the Union government, which was seeking a letter of commitment from the government of Tamil Nadu towards fund infusion to the university. The IoE status to the university comes with Rs 1000-crore funds equally shared by the Union and the state government. The Union government had demanded that the government of Tamil Nadu give a letter of commitment towards these funds to grant IoE status to Anna University.
The state government was reluctant to offer the commitment because it was not clear on whether Anna University will be permitted to follow the 69% reservation system as per Tamil Nadu norms once IoE status is received. The IoE status will grant the university with more autonomy in faculty recruitment, admissions and fee structure and provide impetus to research.