CHENNAI:Professor M Anandakrishnan, chairman of IIT Kanpur and former vice-chancellor of Anna University, said that parents should encourage children to follow an independent path. Parents should keep their opinions and preferences to themselves, at least when it comes to their children’s career, he added.
“The focus today is on academics. Children must be allowed to excel in the fields of their choice — be it music, sports or any other profession,” he said, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony for him, organised by the Tamil Nadu Foundation (TNF), USA, on Saturday. The event saw felicitations by C Rangarajan, chairman, Madras School of Economics and former Governor, Reserve Bank of India, and K Venkataramanan, chief executive officer and managing director, Larsen & Toubro.
Over the course of the interaction, Anandakrishnan said that there was little use having a large number of institutions that provide poor quality education. “Educational institutions that are not up to the mark should mercilessly be asked to shut down,” he said, adding that schools and colleges must focus on providing practical training to students.
He said that the present syllabi, prescribed in schools across all boards and colleges, were not satisfactory and needed an update with more emphasis on planning the future of the students.
Earlier, delivering the acceptance speech at the event, he said that he enjoyed being associated with a number of organisations that were involved in social activities. He spoke about his academic life at IIT-Kanpur, and said, “Of all the facets of my life, the most satisfying was the one at IIT-Kanpur in the early 60s and now.”
Anandakrishnan shared a deep and long bond with TNF, said organisers. Ram Tukaram, centre coordinator, TNF, said that they had decided to come up with an educational enhancement programme on Anandakrishnan’s name, which will provide academic knowledge, soft skills training and career guidance to rural students.