MADURAI: The Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) will enter its 54th year of existence on Thursday. As a celebratory mood wash over the institution, TNIE takes a look at the past, present and potential of the institution.
In the past
The Madurai Kamaraj University, originally called the Madurai University, came into being through a bill passed in the Legislative Assembly of the State in 1965. Former Chief Minister of Madras Presidency and last President of the Justice Party Sir Ponnambala Thiaga Rajan (PT Rajan) donated his land for the University. In his honour, the university's main campus was named 'Tamilvel PT Rajan Maligai'. T P Meenakshi Sundaranar was the first Vice-Chancellor of MKU.
The Madurai University was established in 1966 and was renamed The Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) in 1979 in honour of Bharat Ratna K Kamaraj. The university has so far produced over one crore graduates in the last 52 years. The varsity was conferred with the status of 'University with potential for Excellence (UPE)' by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2005 and is now striving achieve the status of Institute of Eminence. The MKU is a member of the Association of Indian Universities.
Vanchinathan, Legal Advisor of Save Higher Education Forum, claimed that political intervention and favouritism in appointments over the past 20 years led to the university's glory declining steadily. He alleged that the present V-C did not take firm decisions to weed out corruption. "Corruption will be rooted out only if all democratic elections, including those of students associations, are held," he added.
MKU's Former syndicate member and former Additional Controller of Examination Prof(retired) Srinivasan said that the MKU's biological science and bio-technology departments were known across the world. Many an eminent professor from the university was pioneer in both the science and arts streams.
On request of anonymity, a teaching faculty from the MKU said that once, MKU's courses in bio-technology, biological science, mathematics were highly competitive. At that time, an all India entrance examination was held to admit students to the courses. The university had the honour of having such professors in art subjects like E Muthiah, Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan, Kannan, Tharabai, Nalini among others.
Vice-Chancellor M Krishnan told TNIE that in National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), MKU now stands at 45th place from its earlier 56th. Four faculties from the university received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards. "Till date, 14 faculties, including me, from the university have been elevated as Vice-Chancellors, whereas several alumni are IAS/IPS/IRS officers," he said. On the achievements of the university, he said that 50 per cent of the tuition fees have been waived off to encourage student enrolment. "The university is now striving to get the A++ grade in NAAC," he added.
The university's T P Meenakshi Sundaranar Library has the second largest collection of books among University Libraries in Tamil Nadu. The MKU has a modernized central Library with 3 lakh books, 15,000 e-journals, 3,000 e-books, 55,000 reference and 3,00,839 text books.