Administrators of the five Anna Universities of Technology (AUTs) in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Tirunelveli and Madurai were in a dilemma as the move to merge them with the parent Anna University has been put off.
With the new academic year set to begin, the Directorate of Technical Education (DoTE) has instructed all AUTs, which were on the verge of winding up operations, to inspect new engineering colleges and grant them affiliation.
Earlier, it was widely expected that these universities would cease to exist well before the commencement of the academic year 2012-13 and that only the expanded Anna University in Chennai would have the powers to affiliate the existing 498 engineering colleges and new technical institutions.
But, the plan has now been put off by at least a couple of months. “If we ask the Anna University, Chennai, to handle the affiliation process of engineering colleges, it would add to their workload. So, we decided to ask the AUTs to handle the affiliation for existing and new colleges. Once the merger of the AUTs is completed, we will work out an alternative mechanism,” a source in the Higher Education Ministry said. “This has put us in a cat on the wall situation. We have also been barred from spending any money except for meeting our day-to-day expenses. As the merger has been delayed, we are at a loss on how to fund the capital expense required to upgrade the classrooms and labs for our constituent engineering colleges,” said a V-C.
A senior government official said “the merger will happen as announced.” In anticipation of the merger, private engineering colleges in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Tiruchy even issued advertisements proclaiming that they were affiliated to the Anna University, Chennai.