Prof. K. Kathiravan
University of Madras
Anna University’s postgraduate studies (M.Tech) in Biotechnology and Computational Biology for the academic year 2020-21 has been suspended with inability to implement the 69 per cent total reservation of State Government of Tamil Nadu. The State Universities like, Anna University, Bharathiar University, Madurai Kamaraj University, Alagappa University and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University had admitted students to postgraduate courses in Biotechnology (M.Tech/M.Sc.) based on the All-India Entrance Examination, JNU-CEEB. From this year (2020-2021) onwards, students’ merit list was released by Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) based on GAT-B examination scores, which is under the control of Central Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
However, the Anna University administration has said that the Central Government grants stipend and scholarships to students only if they are admitted based on the Central Reservation policy of 49.5 per cent and 10 per cent for EWS. On the contrary, the State government has issued an order to conduct student admission based on 69 per cent reservation of Tamil Nadu. But, Anna University administration has cancelled the admission of M.Tech programme for this year without attempting to resolve the reservation issue. The university administration did not give proper reply, even after the lapse of enrolment date. It is noteworthy that the university administration has released its admission cancellation notification for the M.Tech course due to pressure from students who have applied for it.
The above – mentioned universities have been admitting students for M.Tech / M.Sc. (Biotech) courses during the past based on 49.5 per cent of the Central Government Reservation policy by availing the financial assistance from the Centre. The UGC has also issued a circular stating that State universities can follow the State’s reservation policy as in their respective states in the M.Tech student admission. However, these universities keep on implementing the Central government reservation policy of 49.5 per cent till date.
In addition, the Bharathiar University is admitting students from economically weaker section (10% EWS) without getting an assent from the government of Tamil Nadu. The University authorities have violated the State government reservation policy.
The State universities are created based on the bills passed at the respective state legislatures. Administration, funding, student admissions, and professor appointments are all based on the full participation and policy decisions of the respective States. But these universities have acted against the interests of the State of Tamil Nadu students by not enforcing or obeying the 69 per cent reservation of Tamil Nadu in the admission of M.Tech / M.Sc. courses.
Without getting proper permission from the state government, the Anna university authorities have deliberately destroyed the state government’s policy. It’s a dishonour to the Government of Tamil Nadu and to the people. Apart from this, this year, the University authorities have suspended students’ enrolment without any proper notice.
Though the Tamil Nadu government has not implemented the EWS (10%) reservation, the Bharathiar University takes the law into its own hand and admits student enrolment for EWS quota. This is a gross violation of Tamil Nadu government reservation policy.
Since the universities concerned and Higher Education department have a responsibility to the people of Tamil Nadu, the above- said authorities should give a proper explanation about these issues and ensure the implementation of 69 per cent reservation in student admissions. In addition, the government authorities must ensure that these students receive the required scholarships and stipend from the Central Government.