MKU’s senate nominee for search panel

M. Anandakrishnan, a Padma Shri awardee and former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, was elected unopposed as Madurai Kamaraj University’s (MKU) Senate nominee to the Vice-Chancellor (VC) Search Committee on Friday, following the rejection of nominations of two candidates and the withdrawal of nomination by another.

The nominations of S. Irudaya Rajan, Professor, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Tiruvananthapuram, and J.A. Arul Chellakumar, Professor, Department of Economics, Bharathidasan University, were rejected based on the objections raised on Thursday by S. Nehru, a Senate member of MKU. The other nominee in the fray S. Somasundaram, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, withdrew his nomination.

Mr. Nehru had argued that while Mr. Arul Chellakumar is part of the Board of Studies (BoS) of Economics at MKU, Mr. Irudaya Rajan is not a Professor in any State or Central university, both according to him being violations of the provisions of MKU’s statute that specify the qualifications for the contestants.

Mr. Anandakrishnan was backed by Madurai Kamaraj University Faculty Association (MUFA), Madurai Kamaraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Teresa and Alagappa University Teachers’ Association (MUTA), Government College Teachers’ Association (GCTA), and the Save MKU Coalition.

These associations met the Convenor’s Committee (CC), which is presently looking after MKU’s administration, and the Registrar here on Friday, appealing to accept the objections raised by Mr. Nehru and cancel the candidature of the two.

MKU Professors’ Welfare Association (MUPWA), which was backing the candidatures of Mr. Irudaya Rajan and Mr. Arul Chellakumar, also submitted a representation to MKU Registrar on Friday, raising objections to the candidature of Mr. Anandakrishnan.

However, sources said that the objections were not found to be valid. MUPWA also argued with the CC and the Registrar that the objections of Mr. Nehru cannot not be accepted at this stage since the last date for scrutinising the nominations was on July 7. With Friday being the last day for publishing the final list of candidates, tense moments prevailed on the campus with the CC and the Registrar holding discussions until late in the evening. Though the decision was not announced on the campus, sources said that a letter declaring Mr. Anandakrishnan’s election as the Senate’s nominee was sent to the Higher Education Department.

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