‘Academic and research reputation of the institution would be struck at the roots irrecoverably’
Members of the Anna University Teachers’ Association would sport black badges to protest against the State government’s decision to change the institution’s name. The association said it would look for legal remedies if the issue is not resolved.
The decision was taken at an emergency general body meeting held virtually on Saturday. The association is planning to consult all stakeholders of the university and other associations. Its members are upset that stakeholders were not included in the discussions on changing the university’s name. They pointed out that all international and national rankings achieved over the years would be lost as a result of changing the institution’s name to Anna Technological and Research University.
The university would lose research credit to over 25,000 research articles its faculty had published in reputed international journals, besides patents and other intellectual property right materials. Agreements made with reputed institutions, research organisations and companies in India and abroad would automatically become void, the teachers claimed. “The research indices, like Scopus and Web of Science, of all the faculty are mapped to Anna University and would be lost forever. The students of the four campuses would suffer academically and career-wise due to the change in identity. The academic and research reputation of Anna University would be struck at the roots irrecoverably,” the association said. “Of the 26,000 papers published under Anna University so far, only 6,000 are from affiliated colleges,” a professor said.
Alumnus and former dean of Anna University M. Sekar pointed out that recognition and funding and various approvals would be denied. “We got approval from the University Grants Commission for research funding status due to years of work. In 2007, we faced a similar situation when the university was divided into five zones. It took the university two years to get the approval for the name Anna University of Technology,” he recalled.
“We have been able to build our reputation. All our centres are globally reputed. This is because of the work [we put in],” said Mr. Sekar. “When we apply for rankings, we do so with data of the four affiliated institutions — CEG, AC Tech, MIT and SAP. The ranking institutions pick up the data from the website,” he said.
AUTA president G. Sakthinathan, who has served as secretary of the alumni association of CEG, said, “Senior faculty have worked a lot to get recognition for the university. Only recently, we began competing with other institutions. Our request is that we be allowed to retain the name of Anna University.”