Debating India

SPECIAL FEATURES: EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN SOUTH TAMIL NADU

Priority to accreditation

Friday 2 July 2004, by SUBRAMANIAN*T.S.

WHEN Dr. P. Kanniappan took over on June 9 as the Vice-Chancellor of the Alagappa University in Karaikudi, he had his priorities set: "My first priority is to get the university accredited with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council." The second one is to give equal importance to teaching, research and extension.

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Dr. P. Kanniappan.

"Since I have worked in a university [Gandhigram Rural Institute] where extension work was done to a large extent, I would like to have a three-dimensional approach. All the three components - teaching, research and extension - must be present equally." He said he would request every member of the faculty to take up applied research and extension-oriented projects.

Dr. Kanniappan has both academic and administrative credentials. He was Professor of Mathematics at Gandhigram Rural Institute and was its Registrar from September 30, 2000 until he took up his present position.

The Vice-Chancellor said extension work would involve the local people. Several projects could be executed in coordination with women’s self-help groups, he said. Dr. Kanniappan said he had plans to establish linkages between the Alagappa University on the one hand and other universities, non-governmental organisations and service-organisations on the other so that there was a sharing of expertise and resources. "This will improve our academic standards," he said. He plans to strengthen the university’s Department of Biotechnology, especially in the field of rural biotechnology.

While conceding that the Directorate of Distance Education "is an important organ for resource-creation", Dr. Kanniappan made it clear that there would be no compromise on quality.

T.S.Subramanian

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