In a case of putting the cart before the horse, the Anna University had allowed engineering colleges to admit students for the academic year 2012-13 without conducting inspections to check for infrastructural and academic deficiencies. Instead, its inspection teams have started visiting colleges only now, i.e., five months after the academic year began, to decide if colleges must be granted affiliation or not.
A section of academics feel that delayed inspections can put the future of students in jeopardy as if an institution fails to meet the prescribed standards the university could withhold affiliation. The inspections are being conducted just ahead of the first semester examinations which are slated to begin on January 19.
It is learnt that the process was delayed due to the merger of the five Anna Universities of Technology with the parent Anna University. Therefore, existing engineering colleges were permitted to admit students on the basis of their prevailing affiliation status.
“For the academic year 2012-13, inspection for the grant of affiliation was carried out only in the case of new colleges,” a former Anna University of Technology (since merged) Vice Chancellor acknowledged.
Criticising the university’s decision, former Anna University Vice Chancellor E Balagurusamy said, “Sending an inspection team now does not make sense. If something is wrong in these colleges, how would you rectify the deficiencies? Even if the deficiencies are rectified after the inspection teams points them out it may not help the students who are going to write their examination (as they had already suffered due to inadequacies).”
When contacted, Anna University Vice Chancellor P Kaliraj said, “We have already started the inspection and we will be completing the entire process within two months. In case deficiencies are found in some college, they will be asked to rectify them before the studentsappear for their final examination.”
Meanwhile sources said the university has fixed January 31 as last date for colleges to apply for the affiliation for the next academic year and the entire affiliation process will be completed by May 15.
Recently, the Supreme Court had held that “The order granting or refusing approval should positively be passed by April 10 of the relevant year.
The appeal should be filed within one week and the Appellate Committee should hear the appeal and decide the same by April 30. The University should grant / decline approval / affiliation by May 15 of the relevant year.”