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Principals' assn., MUTA fight for lone Syndicate vacancy

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI, NOV. 7. It is now election time in Madurai Kamaraj University, and 97 colleges under its fold.

There will be a three-cornered contest for the lone vacancy in the Syndicate. The MKU College Principals' Association and the Madurai Kamaraj Manonmaniam-Sundaranar University Teachers' Association (MUTA) have emerged as major contenders; an independent is also in the fray.

The campaign began on Saturday, with the contestants approaching the colleges to mobilise support.

While the MKU College Principals' Association has fielded S. Jayabalan, Principal, Arulmigu Palani Andavar College of Arts and Culture, Palani, the MUTA has put up N. Subburaj, Reader in History, Cardamom Planter's Association College, Bodinayakanur. M. Kanakaraj, of the Palani college, is contesting as Independent.

Both the MKU College Principals' Association and the MUTA claim that the seat "genuinely" belongs to them. While the principals argue that the election is only to find a replacement for the earlier member — a principal — who was transferred to Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, the MUTA contend that the slot was actually allotted to teachers last year. All 97 colleges, the university departments, professors (who are academic council members), and the Governor's nominees will vote in the election.

Interestingly, Dr. Jayabalan is contesting for a berth in the Syndicate for the third consecutive time. In the campaign, the Principals' Association insists that more principals should be elected to the Syndicate, to protect the interest of colleges, and higher education, while the MUTA highlights issues related to syllabus, staff, and students' welfare.

The MKU College Principals Association general secretary, G. Thiruvasagam, says the strength of principals in the Syndicate should increase, as there is only one representative now. Dr. Jayabalan enjoys an overwhelming support from the colleges, he claims.

The MUTA says its candidate has a "bright" chance. Till the result is declared on the evening of the polling day, the university and college campuses will witness a vigorous campaign.

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