Assessment Report of
Institutional Accreditation of
Annamalainagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Section 1. Preface
Annamalai University is one of the premier universities in the country, founded in the year 1929, with the objective of imparting higher education to socially disadvantaged and first generation learners in the region. The university came into existence under an Act of Madras and with the support of munificent contribution to this cause by the Honourable Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar, a philanthropist and a visionary. The university has flourished under the patronage of the Rajah, who to begin with started the faculties of Arts, Fine Arts, Science, and Engineering &Technology as major programmes. After the demise of the founder, his illustrious son Dr.Rajah Sir Muthiah Chettiar became the Pro-Chancellor in 1948 and continued in the office till 1984. During this period, the university evolved into a centre of excellence in higher education not only in the state of Tamil Nadu but in the country. Keeping in view the local needs and following the footsteps of his father, he added the important faculties like dentistry, agriculture, business administration, pharmacy and nursing. In addition to his contribution to the regular courses, he strengthened Distance Education, by introducing several courses. Dr. M.A.M.Ramaswamy, B.A., D.Litt., the descendant of Chettinad family and the present Pro-Chancellor, is striving for the growth and welfare of the university. He is responsible for starting a medical college - a major faculty in Annamalai University. Thus, under the dynamic leadership and vision of the successive members of Chettinad family, the university has grown into a reputed centre of higher learning.
The campus extends to an area of about 1000 acres in a beautiful ambience. At present there are 9 faculties and 48 departments in the university, which include engineering & technology, medicine, dentistry, agriculture, arts, fine arts, science, education and Indian languages. The university has on its faculty 1005 highly qualified teachers with long experience in teaching, research and extension. The university has provided rich learning facilities for ensuring high standards. The Annamalai University is known for its tradition of excellence and distinguished alumni. It has produced generations of scholars, and statesmen who occupied many important positions in various walks of life, like Shri R.Venkataraman, former President of India, and Shri P.C.Alexander, Governor of Maharashtra and several others rose to become Vice-Chancellors of various universities. Mr.K.Balachandar and Mr.T.Rajender, film Directors, Mr.Kovi Manisekaran, Writer, Dr.Padma Subramaniam and L.Shobarani, dancers and several others are proud products of this great university.
The university volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and submitted a detailed self-study report. In response to its request, NAAC constituted a committee, consisting of Prof.M.Malla Reddy, former Vice-Chancellor, Osmania University as Chairman and Prof.R.K.Misra, former Vice-Chancellor, Gorakhpur University, Prof. Prodipeswar Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University and President, Ramanujam Mathematical Society of India and Prof. P.S.Zacharias, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Hyderabad as members of the Core Team. In addition, NAAC invited subject specialists to evaluate professional courses, viz. Medicine, Agriculture, Dentistry, Nursing, Engineering & Technology and Pharmacy. This group included Prof.B.C.Chhaparwal, Vice-Chancellor, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore; Dr.D.K.Srinivasa, Consultant, Curriculum Development, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Health Science, Bangalore; Dr.B.S.Shakuntala, Faculty Member, Government College of Nursing, Bangalore; Dr. M.C. Devaiah, Dean, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and Prof.S.Kuppuswami, Head of the Department of Computer Science, Pondicherry University. Accordingly, along with the core group the subject specialists visited the university on 28th & 29th March and the core group continued its exercise till 1st April 2000. During its visit, the Peer Team could assess the academic capacity of the university based on its infrastructure, personnel and institutional climate and also from the series of interactive sessions with the Vice-Chancellor, management, teachers, students and non-teaching staff.
Thus the following report is the culmination of the deliberations with the faculty members in various departments and observations of the facilities available in each department and impressions gathered during the visit.
Section 2: Criterion-wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects
The university, established in 1929 with just eight subjects of study, now offers a wide range of programme options viz. Ph.D. in 50 subjects, M.Phil. in 27, PG in 67 subjects, UG diplomas in 19 subjects and Certificate Courses in 14 subjects, under nine different faculties. The Team was informed that presently the university is considering the question of reorganization of its departments. The Team feels that the move is in the right direction specially in the case of faculties of Arts, Fine Arts, Education and Languages. The university in this context may consider the possibility of merging some of the departments which are languishing for want of students.
Further, the university had been trying to expand its frontiers by introducing courses in subjects like bio-technology, coastal aquaculture and rural development. The university has already taken positive steps to encourage inter-disciplinary studies through the mechanism of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). Students have enough programme flexibility and they can opt for courses from outside their department. The curriculum is being reviewed in all departments at regular intervals ranging from one to three years, by the Board of Studies concerned, although the extent of interest taken by the teachers to update the curriculum varies from department to department. The attitude of the teachers in certain departments in humanities should cause concern to the university authorities. Some departments have revised their curriculum to make it more job oriented.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Admission to the various courses is through entrance tests. For PG programmes it is followed by interviews and in few cases by group discussion. It is mandatory to adopt the state government reservation policy in admission to ensure social justice which is implemented by the university. The university, as a welfare measure, accommodates the children of the staff in various academic programmes, without compromising merit. Project work is a component of all the PG programmes. While the PG students of the social sciences undertake field studies and prepare dissertation, those in professional and technical courses take up projects, undergo internships and present seminars.
In addition to the central library and in some cases the faculty library, all departments have their own departmental libraries. Both the teachers and students have open access to library and make effective use of this facility.
The number of teaching days of the university is 180 days in all Faculties/Departments and 210 days for the Faculty of Agriculture. All classes are taught by full time teachers. The overall teacher to students ratio is about 1:12. In arts and science faculties more than 75% of the teachers possess Ph.D. degree and the rest are working towards it. Departments offer bridge/remedial courses to those students who require additional academic support.
Courses are offered in both annual and semester patterns. The annual pattern is followed for the first year undergraduate students of the engineering faculties. From the second year onwards the semester pattern is followed where continuous internal assessment constitutes 25% and end semester examination evaluated by external examiner constitutes 75%. All PG programmes in the university follow the semester pattern with 40:60 weightage for internal and final examinations. Double valuation, moderation and retotalling are part of the examination scheme. It is worth mentioning that the results are announced within reasonable time after the conduct of examinations.
Faculty members in almost all departments attend refresher courses, workshops, training programmes, symposia and seminars to keep abreast with recent developments in their respective fields. The number of teachers who have participated at national level seminars is about 250 and at international levels is about 80, during the last five years. In addition, about 48 teachers have availed themselves of study leave and one has availed himself of sabbatical leave.
The institution follows the self appraisal method to evaluate teachers on teaching and research. This is analysed and used by the panel of experts of the Board of Selection for confirmation, promotion and career development. Although there exists an informal way of collecting student feedback, it is not followed rigorously.
Several teachers have won national awards for teaching and a few have won international recognition.
In addition to the access provided to nearly 10,000 students in the formal mode of education, this university offers a variety of programmes through distance learning catering for nearly 2.5 lakhs students. Besides being a supplementary system, the distance education programmes provide an opportunity for continuing education for all those who are employed – a highly beneficial service to the society. This is one of the largest distance education centres with well organised study centres not only throughout the country but also abroad.
Research along with teaching is actively pursued in the university. More than 60% of the faculty are guiding M.Phil. / Doctoral candidates and publishing research papers. In most of the masters’ degree courses students are required to prepare project reports / thesis as part of the course requirement. The ambience for research is well built in the system.
There are 76 on going research projects with total outlay of approximately 4.3 crores. These projects are funded by UGC, CSIR, DST, AICTE, DBT, ICMR and by international agencies. The 280 registered Ph.D. students including part-time students make substantial contribution to research activities. 367 students have received Ph.D. degree during the last five years.
Facilities like Central Instrumentation Centre, Computer Centre with adequate computational facility, internet connectivity keep the ongoing research active. Sophisticated equipment are also available in various science, engineering, agriculture and medical faculties. It is worth mentioning that the department of Marine Biology and Linguistics are recognized as Centres of Advanced Study by the UGC.
The university has initiated consultancy services in recent years which include
· Soil testing and design of foundation for EID Ltd. for their Vam Chemical division.
· Design of concrete mix for several organizations.
· Checking of design for different structures.
· Suggesting remedial measures for structures under stress.
· Suggesting suitable design for increasing the capacity of Sugar Mill soils.
· Calibration of testing machines for Seshayee industries.
· Danida programme to check water tank failures etc.
The Department of Structural Engineering generated about 7.5 lakhs by consultancy during 1996-1999 period.
People oriented extension activities have been incorporated in the programme of certain departments. The Faculty of Agriculture and Medicine have done good work in their respective areas. The record of others needs to be improved.
The campus built around nearly 1000 acres of land – main campus in 850 acres and the satellite campus in around 100 acres, has adequate space to accommodate all the departments, centres, libraries, central facilities, sports complex, yoga centre, staff recreation club and a very beautiful botanical garden.
There are adequate number of hostels for men and women students. There are rooms for visitors, TV rooms and some facilities for sports in the hostels. The hostel records are meticulously maintained and are fully computerised. There are separate mess systems for vegetarian and non-vegetarians, run by contractors at reasonable price. Although the Wardens, Deputy Wardens and Matrons take good care of the inmates of the hostels around the clock, there is scope for further improvement of the facilities. Because the university is very old, some of the hostel buildings are in run down conditions and need repair. The Golden Jubilee Hall of residence is very well designed. Telephone with STD facility is available in some hostels.
For the day scholars there are separate rest rooms. There are three co-operative stores in the campus where consumer goods are available at a reasonable price.
Two powerful generators each of capacity 1.5 MVA, ensure uninterrupted power supply [UPS] around the clock to the entire campus. There is no shortage of water in the campus.
The Central Library has more than 3 lakhs books and subscribes for 143 national and 408 international journals. Almost all the departments have their own departmental libraries. The central library budget needs to be increased.
There is a very good computer centre. Internet and e-mail facilities are available in a limited manner.
There are adequate outdoor sports facilities and also an indoor stadium. There is a campus club for the employees.
The housing of the faculty and other staff is adequate and good. Campus transport facility is also quite good.
Medical facilities are available at the Medical College. The administrators and the faculty are genuinely interested in the welfare of the students. The university provides free medical services to the needy people of the neighbourhood.
The campus has an excellent guest house.
A swimming pool will be a welcome addition to the existing campus amenities.
The university brochure gives comprehensive information of the facilities available. The drop out rate is negligible. Being a residential university, it accommodates almost all the students in the hostels and residential halls. For male and female day scholars – there are separate rest rooms. There is a good canteen and a co-operative society.
SC/ST students are given book bank facilities. There is a limited number of scholarships and fellowships provided by the university itself besides a large number of government support for the SC/ST and Backward students. The university has some scholarships for Ph.D. students who do not have any other financial support from outside funding agencies. There are some monthly stipends in some subjects from endowment.
The placement service tries to find suitable placements for students. However due to the locational disadvantage of the university, placement service is not so effective. There is an employment bureau which functions in liaison with the state employment agencies. Several students have got employment through campus interviews, a facility offered by the institution as a student support service. Coaching for SLET is held regularly with financial support from the university. Several students have qualified in NET.
There are some overseas students and there are also several students from other parts of India. The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology reserves some seats for students from other States.
The university conducts self-financing courses for employed people in certain areas.
A large number of alumni of this university occupy very prestigious positions within and outside India.
The Annamalai University was established in the year 1929 by an Act of by then Legislative Council of Madras and received the assent of the Governor on the 3rd November 1928 and that of the Governor General on the 11th December 1928. Consequently the Act was adopted through the amendment as per the Indian Laws in the year 1937 and 1943. The university started its operation from the year 1929.
Today the university is one of the leading institutions of higher education in the country with 9 Faculties and 48 departments. The university is governed by a three-tier system of administration: Senate, Academic Council and Syndicate.
The highest administrative body of the university is the senate which consists of 100 members. Ex-officio members include Chancellor the head of the University, the Pro-chancellor (Founder) and the Vice-Chancellor the chief executive of the university, the Director of Collegiate Education, Madras, the Chairman of the Chidambaram Municipal Council and the President of the District Board, South Arcot District, Heads of the Departments of Studies in the university, the Vice-Chancellor of Madras and Andhra Unviersities, The Collector of South Arcot, The Advocate General of Madras, The Members of the Syndicate who are not otherwise the members of the Senate and the Diwan of Pudukkottai.
Eight members of the Senate are nominated by the Chancellor and four members by Pro-Chancellor and all other members are elected from different categories as per the Statutes of the Act.
The Senate is the supreme governing body of the university and its term of office is three years. It is empowered to make statutes, to adopt the resolutions in the Annual Report, approve Budget Estimates and Annual Accounts. The resolutions of the Senate are forwarded to the Syndicate for further action. The Senate meets at least twice in a year which shall be held in the months of August and March, on dates fixed by the Vice-Chancellor.
The Syndicate consists the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Collegiate Education, Tamil Nadu and the Deans of Faculties as Ex-officio members.
In addition to ex-officio members three members are elected by the Senate, one member elected by the Academic Council and two members are nominated by the Chancellor and two members by the Pro-Chancellor.
The Academic Council consists of 439 members, including ex-officio members i.e. the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Collegiate Education, Madras, the Professors and Readers of the university, the Chairmen of the Boards of Studies, and the members of the Academic Council. Ten members, of whom not fewer than five shall be teachers other than the Professors and Readers elected by such teachers, Five members are elected by the Senate from among its members. The Director of the Directorate of Distance Education of the university is included under the category of ex-officio members. The members of the Academic council shall hold office for a period of three years as per the laws laid down by the Act of the University. The Academic Council is empowered to take policy decisions on all academic matters with special reference to teaching, examinations and maintenance of the standards. Normally there shall be two meetings of the Academic Council which shall ordinarily be held in the months of August and March on dates to be fixed by the Vice-Chancellor.
The Chancellor is the Governor of Tamil Nadu and by virtue of his / her office he / she is the Head of the Institution, whereas the Vice-Chancellor is the Executive Head of the university who is assisted by the Registrar.
In addition to these three important statutory bodies which are responsible for the governance of the university, there are several other officers of the university who participate in the governance at different levels.
There are 9 Faculties in Annamalai University. Each Faculty is headed by an elected Dean. Each faculty consists of several departments. The department is an independent administrative and academic unit and the Head of the Department is responsible for both administration as well as academic decisions. By virtue of his office the Head of the Department is also the Chairman of the Board of Studies for framing curriculum, adopting evaluation procedures and organising teaching-learning processes.
The teachers are appointed through a board of selection, constituted as per the norms laid down in the act. It consists of the Pro-Chancellor, who is the Chairman of the Board, Vice-Chancellor, one elected member from the Senate, a nominee of the Governor and one member elected by syndicate. The recommendations of the Board are ratified by the Pro-Chancellor.
All academic policies of the department including, curricular framework are adopted by Boards of Studies. Heads of the departments are the Chairmen of the Boards of Studies.
The Peer Team during their visit, has noted that the university enjoys perfect autonomy. The relationship between faculty and the management including the Vice-Chancellor is extremely cordial and friendly. By its tradition, the university has created a hierarchy-free institutional climate and therefore one does not notice any kind of superordinary and subordinary relationship between one another. The entire administration and organisation is built on the model of human relation, ensuring participatory democracy. This situation is helping the university in maintaining excellent discipline between teachers and students. Students hold their teachers in high esteem and the university is free from student unrest – a rare phenomena. It is noteworthy that this university has ensured a high degree of accountability.
Being a unitary and residential university, it has the freedom to innovate many healthy practices and the notable ones are given below:
§ The university has responded well to the changing needs of the society by offering professional, career oriented and extension programmes, for the benefit of the local community.
§ The university has established linkages with a number of institutions abroad through MoU which include Ball State University, (USA), John Hopkins University, (USA), Ehime University, (Japan), ETH (Swtizerland) CSIRO (Australia), Danida (Denmark) for collaborative research.
§ The Environmental Information System Centre [ENVIS] sponsored by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi is engaged in collecting, collating and disseminating of information on estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs and lagoons.
§ Publication of bi-annual Newsletter `Seshaiyana’ by ENVIS.
§ Consultancy work and industry–university link projects.
§ Introduction of Choice Based Credit System [CBCS] from the academic year 2000-2001.
§ Free medical facility being extended to the neighbouring villagers by the Health Science department of the university.
§ The help extended to students for employment registration by the University Employment Information and Guidance Bureau.
§ Establishment of the Yoga Centre.
Section 3. Overall Analysis
The establishment of Annamalai University in the year 1929, well before Independence and its subsequent development into a major university devoted to the pursuit of advanced studies, is an important landmark in the history of higher education in the country. The university came into existence by an Act of the Legislative Council with the objective to promote higher education in a Tamil District of the then Presidency of Madras. The Honourable Dr.Rajah Sir S.R.M.Annamalai Chettiar, a philanthropist and a visionary who was already patronizing weaker sections through higher education, welcomed the idea and came forward to translate this embryonic decision into reality. To this end, Dr.Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar donated all his assets created for promoting higher education and also a sum of Rs.20 lakhs - a munificent contribution considering the socio-economic conditions of the day. In view of his earnest desire to establish the university and to ensure his continued support, Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar and his heirs, were invited to associate with the university with special powers and privileges in its governance.
The university extends to an area of nearly 1000 acres in South Arcot District and caters for the educational needs have the socially disadvantaged and first generation learners. During the last 71 years of its existence, the university has grown in its range, volume and complexity. Keeping in view its historical purpose the university has created 9 Faculties encompassing 48 modern disciplines of contemporary relevance. At present there are 1,005 members of teaching staff and 2,418 non-teaching staff. In the regular programme, there are 9,600 students on rolls, pursuing different courses in the university, besides, 266 research scholars working for M.Phil and 280 scholars working for Ph.D. degrees. The university has created several welfare programmes for the benefit of teaching and non-teaching staff which include Triple Benefit Scheme, Gratuity, Family Pension, L.T.C., Medical Allowance, Vehicle, Marriage and Housing Loans, Residential quarters, Employees credit society, Yoga and Meditation centre, Loan facilities for purchase of computers, admission to all courses for staff children, Fee concession to the wards of employees, admission to part-time courses to employees, preference in appointments to the sons and daughters of retired employees. The Management, staff and students inspired by the objectives of the university are striving to achieve the goals set for them and to find a niche for the university in the national education scenario, through the path of hard work, dedication and discipline.
It is to be commended that Annamalai University is playing an important role in the socio-economic development at the regional level as well as in promoting socio-cultural awareness at the national level. For an effective implementation of its programmes, the university has identified many collaborative programmes with neighbouring institutions and advanced centres of learning both in India and abroad. During the past 3 to 4 decades, the university has not only introduced many important academic programmes of social relevance but also restructured curriculum in every department – a creative response to the changing aspirations of the present generation of students with special focus on their social, physical and emotional needs.
The university is conscious of the fact that no institution can grow above the level of its faculty. Keeping this fact in view, the university has provided immense opportunity for staff development and it fully enjoys their confidence and support in all its academic as well as organisational activities.
To realise its vision and goals, the university is also making sincere efforts to marshal and manage the required financial resources. To this end and also in the light of socio-economic landscape in which the university is embedded, the university has started the Directorate of Distance Education. Through this mode the university offers a number of programmes for the benefit of needy students who otherwise have no access to higher education. At present there are 2.5 lakhs students pursing higher education through distance learning. The Directorate is supported by massive organisational structure and impressive teaching learning facilities created exclusively for this purpose in the university campus. To ensure the quality of distance education, the university has made all possible efforts. The quality of self-study materials produced, the core faculty recruited for imparting instruction during contact programmes and the experts invited as guest faculty (resource persons) are some of the efforts to ensure the quality of the programme. During our interaction with the Management and faculty, it was argued by many academicians and teachers that Distance Education is a pragmatic programme and it is meant to serve the society. It was also argued that the programme helps in addressing the challenges of “massification of higher education in the country” and the university is trying to cope with the ever increasing demand for several courses under this scheme. However, the Peer Team did not make a detailed micro level assessment of the distance education, in view of the fact that the matter falls under the purview of the Distance Education Council (DEC).
The Peer Team experienced certain formidable difficulties in the evaluation of various academic activities encompassing teaching, research and extension offered in 9 Faculties/48 departments. Nevertheless and despite such constraints, the Peer Team with meticulous care examined the various curricular, co-curricular programmes and noted all the outstanding features of this university. As a part of this exercise, it is only right to recognize that, accreditation of a major multi-dimensional complex university like Annamalai University is an event of reflection and introspection for its rededication to noble ideals for which the university was created.
§ It is commendable to note at the very outset that there are no serious problems which interfere with the university’s academic life. This is an outcome of the conviction that the pursuit of knowledge is everyone’s concern. The Management and the successive Vice-Chancellors have created excellent human relations in the university and laid many great traditions which have significant bearing on the university administration and its image in the academic community. During our visit we were impressed by the manner in which Annamalai University is dealing with the inter personal relations. The university has succeeded in promoting a sense of personal discipline among students - a great achievement indeed.
§ The university while preserving its traditions has constantly adopted itself to the contemporary life and changing socio-economic situation in the country.
§ The university has responded in more than one way to most powerful forces of change. The explosion of knowledge in science and technology, explosion of student population resulting in massification of higher education, changing socio-political scenario and its impact on higher education, are some of the major challenges which the university needs to address. It is noted with a sense of gratification that Annamalai University is not only conscious of these forces but is able to respond to these challenges through appropriate programmes and creative activities.
§ Realistic projection in higher education is that the growing financial crunch is going to be a major set back in promoting and maintaining standards in higher education in near future. In this respect Annamalai University through its transparent administration is able to communicate its policies and financial needs to industry and donor community and hopes to generate required resources making it a self supporting university.
§ The university strives to promote teaching, research and extension almost in all departments. We have noted during our visit to the faculties in the university that in general, the faculty members are endowed with high professional competencies and intellectual capacities. It is axiomatic that teaching is a dynamic enterprise and an intellectual exercise. The Peer Team was convinced, after meeting the faculty members of different departments that they are able to cope with the challenging task of teaching very effectively by virtue of their dedication and commitment to their profession.
§ Members of the faculty of Arts have introduced many innovative projects under extra-curricular activities to promote social awareness among students, a sense of national unity and solidarity.
§ The Department of Political Science has created the Social Sciences Research Council which provides a forum for academics and research scholars for critical thinking and scientific discussions on issues of current interest. It is a commendable approach. Similarly, in the Department of Economics, initiatives have been taken for organising five days’ research methodology, research workshops once in a year in addition to regular teaching and research work.
§ Preparation of students at all levels through imparting knowledge of contemporary relevance not only in the field of their specialisation but also in other related fields is a positive step. We have noted such laudable efforts in certain departments of social sciences which is an index of the institutional effort towards the modern concept of integrated instructions - a commendable practice.
§ The Peer Team would like to comment that the teaching faculty in general is exposed to advanced developments in their respective fields. This conclusion is drawn on the basis of our interaction with the teachers, examination of research activities and extra-curricular organised in several departments.
§ It is noteworthy that, the university is able to fill up all teaching vacancies with the result, hardly any teaching position is left unoccupied.
§ The university has built up excellent facilities for physical education, sports and games.
§ Despite the fact that the university is situated in a rural, backward district in Tamil Nadu, the student composition is no longer dominated by male students of upper class social origin. The students in the university are drawn from a broad social base and nearly 40% of them are women students. Looking at the student composition we may conclude that the profile of the university (in terms of the background of the students) is fast changing, which is a healthy trend.
§ Professional education like engineering, agriculture and information sciences are gaining importance everywhere. Despite this changing educational scenario, the Faculty of Arts continues to be strong in this university. The Peer Team is impressed with the fact that the university is encouraging teaching and research in social and non-professional studies on par with professional courses.
§ The university is involved in a number of extension activities. Some of these include National Service Scheme, Adult Education, Agricultural Extension and the Rural Development. The villages around the campus are provided with Dental and Medical care by the well endowed Rajah Muthiah Medical Hospital.
§ Science departments offer good teaching programmes, with the support of well equipped laboratories and good libraries.
§ All the engineering departments offer good teaching programmes and faculty is extending its support to needy students through remedial measures.
§ Most engineering departments have good departmental libraries and reasonably well equipped laboratories.
§ The university has established linkages with a number of institutions abroad through MoU which include Ball State University, (USA), John Hopkins University, (USA), Ehime University, (Japan), ETH (Swtizerland) CSIRO (Australia), Danida (Denmark) for collaborative research.
§ The Environmental Information System Centre [ENVIS] sponsored by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi engaged in collecting, collating and dissemination of information on Estuaries, Mangroves, Coral Reefs and Lagoons, is commendable.
§ The alumni of this university occupy many important positions in industries and several other institutions. We are informed by the authorities that they have already formed themselves into an association which is active in many places. In the city of Chennai they have established a centre for their activities. The association is also active in other countries like USA and maintains its linkages with the university which has several distinct advantages for the university.
§ The explosion of knowledge and exponential growth of modern disciplines have determined the academic and administrative structure of universities all over the world. But this trend is fast changing, in the light of interdisciplinary approaches. The departments are no more viewed as administrative units. Therefore, with a view to promote interdisciplinary approach, it is desirable to introduce the school system, theme teaching, context oriented applied research and restructuring the curriculum at the cutting edge of innovations in higher education.
§ The university should prepare a strategic plan with an emphasis on quality. Under the strategic plan it is desirable to include future academic programmes, the need for staff development training, management and self generation of resources through innovative methods etc. It is necessary to create a substantial corpus fund to ensure its sustainable development.
§ Efforts should be made to increase research funding in all the departments.
§ Journal subscription should be increased in science departments.
§ Computer facilities in several departments need to be improved.
§ Consultancy will be a source of additional income to the university as well as to the members of the faculty.
§ Being such a big university catering for nearly 2.5 lakhs students, through its regular and distance education modes, should have a task force/internal quality assurance mechanism which can enhance the image of the institution.
The university envisages many progressive changes in the matter of new courses, innovative approaches to evaluation and extension activities, under the dynamic leadership of the present Vice-Chancellor. The committee places its deep sense of appreciation on record for their cooperation in undertaking the process of accreditation successfully. The committee would like to wish great success in all its future endeavours.