Vice-Chancellor of University of Madras R Thandavan on Wednesday expressed surprise and elation at the varsity being shortlisted for ‘heritage’ status under a scheme announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development. The University of Madras, along with its Mumbai and Calcutta counterparts, which are more than 150 years old, are among those considered for the heritage status.
Speaking to Express, the V-C said he got to know about it only through media reports and was yet to receive a communication in this regard from the University Grants Commission, which is the implementing agency. Heritage universities would be eligible for a special annual grant in excess of `10 crore.
In addition, they would also enjoy special privileges, such as waiver of regulations in matters of governance. This would include appointment of staff to the university such as the head, faculty teachers and staff.
Further, under the scheme of the MHRD, universities across the nation that are more than 100 years old would be eligible for special privileges and financial grants.
Detailing on the efforts of the varsity seeking re-accreditation, Thandavan said that a letter-of-intent was sent to the Bangalore-based National Assessment and Accreditation Council seeking re-accreditation in May.
Express had reported then that the university, due to sloppy action of officials in successive administrations, failed to renew its accreditation status from the NAAC. The V-C also said that a NAAC team is likely to visit the university campus within the next six months for inspection. “A team comprising the Dean (Research Studies) S Karunanidhi is overseeing these efforts,” he elaborated.