The Vice-Chancellor search committee of Anna University interviewed candidates it had shortlisted from among the 170 applicants, which has been vacant since May 2016.
Among the shortlisted candidates were four professors from Anna University, including the registrar, S. Ganesan. One of the professors who had been shortlisted did not attend the interview. Those shortlisted include a professor each from the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and former Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission H. Devraj.
In 2017, the Higher Education Department framed guidelines for qualifications for Vice-Chancellors and the search panel. For Anna University, it stated that a person with a background in pure science could also apply for the post. However, the Professors in the university felt it would be better to have a person with a technical background as he would have a better grasp of the requirements of engineering education.
The search panel is headed by former Supreme Court judge V.S. Sirpurkar. The other two members are R. Gnanamoorthy, a professor of mechanical engineering in IIT-M, and a retired bureaucrat N. Sundaradevan. On finalising, the list of selected persons would be handed over to the chancellor and the Governor of Tamil Nadu to announce the VC.