Coimbatore: What made the probe into the Anna University semester exam marks scandal easy was the ready confessions of the three suspended faculty members. The scam would have never been probed, despite widespread knowledge about it for the past two years, but for written complaints from assistant professors Sivakoumar and Mani Anand.
In late May, a few Anna University professors received anonymous petitions that several students of College of Engineering in Guindy (CEG) and Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in Chromepet came out with flying colours through unfair means. These students, mostly children and grandchildren of politicians and senior police officers, had failed in the semester exams but were given higher marks during a bogus revaluation exercise. The malpractice had first begun during 2007-08.
Acting on the petitions, a couple of academicians grilled Sivakoumar, a young faculty of Computer Technology in MIT. Fearing trouble, he immediately wrote to the Chief Minister’s Cell detailing the scam and apologised for his role in it. Around the same time, Mani Anand, a former Deputy Controller of Examination and assistant professor at Ramanujan Computing Centre, submitted a complaint addressed to a quasi-government official saying he too awarded pass marks to some failed students. They had even corrected answer scripts of subjects that were not their domain.
These two letters - reported in Express on June 25 - came in as hard evidence. Both had implicated the former Additional Controller of Examination, Prof Tamilporai, alleging that he had asked to award higher marks to some students.
However, Tamilporai informed the inquiry committee that he had never instructed Mani Anand to award marks to any students. Interestingly, a senior professor who deposed as witness also alleged that the Vice Chancellor had separately asked Mani Anand to favour certain students.