After row, Anna University to resume two Union govt-funded M Tech courses

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In a relief to several MTech biotechnology and computational biology aspirants in Anna University, the university has said that it will recommence the two programmes. The University had recently announced that there will not be any intake for the two programmes in the current academic year due to lack of funds. According to reports, the university told the Madras High Court that the two programmes will also have nine extra seats in line to comply with the 69% reservation followed by the government of Tamil Nadu.

The reason behind the initial suspension of admission to these two programmes were due to the difference in the reservation policies of the union government and the state government, the university said. The two programmes are funded by the Department of Bio Technology (DBT) of the Union government and it offers a stipend of around Rs 12,000 to all the students accepted to these programmes. Since the two programmes are funded by the Union government, the central reservation norms of 49.5% was expected to be followed.

However, the government of Tamil Nadu, this year, demanded that it be allowed to follow the state government’s reservation norms of 69% for admitting students to these programmes. The Union government had differed on this aspect and refused to fund these courses at Anna University, which led to the university announcing the suspension. An MTech aspirant had petitioned the Madras High Court against this suspension, stating that this had put the futures of students like her in jeopardy since the admissions in other colleges had closed.

Read: TNM Explainer: Why Anna University had to cancel two centre-funded M Tech courses

In its submission to the High Court, Anna University said that the Union government will continue to fund the course and provide stipend to the students admitted under the 49.5% reservation quota. The counsel for the university also told the court that the students admitted in the nine extra seats must provide an undertaking that they will not demand the stipend since there are more than 2,000 students pursuing postgraduate courses in the university without stipends.

The counsel added that Anna University will have to obtain approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for the extra nine seats that the university will create. The judge noted the submission and directed the AICTE counsel to provide information on the approval and adjourned the case to February 12.