At a time when there is growing concern about the declining interest in pursuing research as a career option, a new internal record has been set in the Anna University (Chennai) with as many as 377 men and women set to receive doctorates (PhDs) during the forthcoming convocation ceremony scheduled for Friday. "This is a record in the 29-year history of the university. In the past, so many individuals have never received doctorates in a year. Even recent records show that less than 150 persons had obtained their PhDs during the past five or six years. Last year a little over 160 men and women had donned the doctoral gown," P Mannar Jawahar, vice chancellor, Anna University (Chennai) said on Wednesday. According to him, over 300 of those set to receive their PhDs this year are faculty members of self-financing engineering colleges.
"This automatically indicates that the colleges will have competent faculty with better qualification," he said. During the convocation, the university will confer the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on N Lakshmi Narayanan, vice chairman, Cognizant, too. Besides, as many as 89 students will be awarded gold medals; 21 of them are from the university departments, 15 from the PSG College of Technology, 11 each from Thiagarajar College of Engineering and Coimbatore Institute of Technology, 10 from the Government College of Technology and 29 from the affiliated private engineering colleges. As part of proposed plans, the university will from the next academic year launch three academic programmes ME in Space Technology at the Madras Institute of Technology, M.Arch in Advanced Architecture at the School of Architecture and Planning, and MBA in Hospitality Management at the College of Engineering, Guindy.
"To mark the centenary of former chief minister and DMK founder C N Annadurai (in whose memory the university is named) we will create the Perarignar Anna Professorial Chair this year," Jawahar said. The university will also construct new hostel rooms so as to accommodate 1,600 students from the next academic year in addition to 200 special hostel rooms for students admitted under the non-resident Indian category. Besides, classroom and laboratory infrastructure will be created on a floor space of 30,000 sq ft at the College of Engineering, Guindy and 20,000 sq ft at the Madras Institute of Technology, he said.