Save CEG from Anna University

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Save CEG from Anna University

The spate of controversies with the affiliating university called Anna University in Tamil Nadu is posing a huge shadow on one of the best technical institutions in India and Asia, the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG) in Chennai. CEG is India’s oldest engineering college - established in 1794. Since the British era, CEG has been an institute of repute in engineering academia and has produced outstanding alumni for the society. We urgently need to save this heritage institution from Anna University and restore it back to its original status.

Heritage:

Before India’s independence, CEG was the only technical institute in South India. CEG alumni are credited with building the waterways, dams, roads, power distribution grids, heritage buildings and railways in that era. Verghese Kurien (Amul), Venu Srinivasan (TVS Sundaram), Upendra Chivukula (US Senate), A.C. Muthiah (Industrialist), G. Parthasarathy (Diplomat), Krishnamachari Srikkanth & S. Venkataraghavan (Indian test cricket captains), Nagarjuna Akkineni (movie actor) & Crazy Mohan (playwright and scriptwriter), Dhiraj Rajaram (Mu Sigma founder), Madhan Karky (lyricist), Krishnakumar Natarajan (Mindtree), Raj Reddy (Turing Prize winner), Kutraleeswaran (Swimmer and Arjuna award winner), Alexander Arulanthu (Stand up comedian) are amongst the most famous alumni produced by CEG over the decades. CEG alumni have had a great impact on societies around the world as engineers, academicians, administrators, entertainment professionals and entrepreneurs creating thousands of jobs in the process. India’s Favorite President, Dr.Abdul Kalam was one of the distinguished Professors in this hallowed institution post his retirement.

How the CEG brand got forgotten and confused:

In 1978 government engineering colleges in Chennai (namely CEG, A.C. Tech, MIT and SAP) were brought under Anna University. This was the first step in diluting the CEG brand. Engineering education in Tamil Nadu became a popular business in the last 15 to 20 years since the tech boom in the late 1990s. In 2004, all the 200+ engineering colleges (then) in Tamil Nadu were brought under Anna University. This move while unifying the engineering syllabus also helped brand new colleges with absolutely no infrastructure or faculty or alumni base cover up their deficiencies under the umbrella brand called Anna University. At the same time, CEG’s status moved from college to a campus and the departments were rebranded as University Departments, Anna University. In the last decade slowly but steadily, the identity of the CEG brand began to wane rapidly. Today, the top 1000 students of the state have the same Anna University tag as the rest of the 4,00,000 students. Consequently the CEG brand is on the verge of extinction today in spite of having such a great heritage and having produced such an illustrious list of alumni over centuries.

The Effect of the Brand CEG Disappearing:

o  With Anna University turning out to an epicenter of corruption and thereby eclipsing brand CEG, the alumni of CEG are now facing an identity crisis.

o  The brand - CEG - has become unknown to a significant population, drastically hampering employment and career opportunities, including prevention of availability of funding to aspiring startups.

o  CEG students, who opt for higher studies, can only select Anna University and are grouped along with the other 40,000 odd engineering students passing out of Tamil Nadu every year.

All this has a negative effect in terms of attracting the best students to join the college. CEG alumni have historically spurned admission offers from institutions like BITS Pilani or NITs (RECs) but today those institutions command a higher reputation and brand recall compared to CEG because of events in the last decade.

What Next?

To redefine the brand ‘CEG’, restore the heritage and legacy associated with it, and promote CEG’s independence from corrupt university administration, this online petition has been set up.

This petition is created to request the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to re-establish CEG as an independent autonomous college and accord it a heritage institution status while maintaining an arm’s length distance from any current or future affiliating university.

On a separate note the issues of Anna University should be fixed by the Government separately. Large affiliating universities are a challenge. The government can look at decentralization and creating more structured autonomous institutions both public and private building on the strengths of several good regional colleges.


Members of the society, CEGians - current, past or prospective who wish to preserve CEG’s glory and support its autonomy, please sign the petition and also urge your family members and friends to support this cause.

 



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