VIP ground zero loses autonomy
The Madras Christian College (MCC), one of the oldest higher educational institutions in the country, and the alma mater to India’s ace philosopher and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, achievers TN Seshan, Raja Ramanna and Indra Nooyi, and politician Prakash Karat, has lost its longheld autonomous status. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has refused to extend the status.
“The UGC standing committee on autonomous colleges, which inspected the MCC following an application by the institution for extending its autonomous status for five years, had pointed out academic and financial deficiencies.
Therefore, at our 487th meeting we decided not to recommend autonomous status extension for the institution,” a UGC official told Express on Wednesday. It is learnt that the standing committee had pointed out that the college, which was among the earliest institutions in south India to get an autonomous status, had failed to apply for re-accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The college had earlier obtained the ‘A+’ rating from the NAAC, but failed to renew it.
MCC principal R W Alexander Jesudasan said he was unaware of the UGC decision to deny extension of the autonomous status. “I had received a letter from the UGC seeking certain documents pertaining to the visit of the NAAC peer team and some financial papers. I have been working on it. There is nothing alarming for now. I have sent the documents and visited the UGC office in this regard,” Jesudasan said. However, a senior MCC professor expressed concern over the development. “We have enjoyed a global reputation. free to choose an additional paper or diploma course depending on their interest. The autonomous status helps institutions to innovative academically by weaving in industry-based internships into regular three-year bachelor’s degree programmes.