Surappa has about thirty years teaching experience in metallurgical engineering. He has been in IISC Bangalore for twenty years. There has been a vacancy for VC in Anna University for two years. In these circumstances, Surappa has been appointed by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
Kamal Haasan, the actor turned politician recently tweeted about the appointment of Vice-Chancellor of Anna University by the Governor Banwarilal Purohit connecting it to Cauvery issue.
He commented that Tamil Nadu was asking for Cauvery from Karnataka but they are sending M K Surappa as a vice chancellor to Tamil Nadu. He raised questions about the Centre and State's realisation of TamilNadu's hopes and demands in Cauvery issue. He also wondered the game plan of the Centre and asked the Centre's expectation from Tamilians in appointing a Kannadian in Anna University when Cauvery issue is going forcefully.
Political leaders in TamilNadu condemned the Centre's decision and warned that this would again instigate the burning flame of Cauvery issue. DMK chief Stalin criticised the Surappa's appointment on this occasion and asked the Centre not to saffronise the University campus.
Ramadoss, the PMK founder also remarked that the feelings of Tamilians were not respected and said that his party would organise the students to protest against Surappa's appointment.
In these circumstances, Educationist Jayaprakash Gandhi welcomed the Surappa's appointment by stating that Surappa performed well at IIT Ropar and he has many responsibilities to develop the university. He also added that politics should not interfere in Education and reminded that when VC Ananda Krishnan was made the chairman of IIT Kharagpur, no one bad remarked and questioned why they are creating issues now.