tightens noose on private varsities
The year 2003 saw a major agitation by students in protest against the hike in tuition fee by Panjab University, Punjabi University and their affiliated colleges. Thousands of students poured into the streets in mass protest. The agitation resulted in loss of teaching days, blockade of roads, rallies and marches.
The pinch was felt the most by those studying in rural colleges. The hike, by their economic standards, was, indeed, steep. The same could not, however, be said of their urban counterparts, who nevertheless went on a warpath.
The rise in fee followed instructions by the Centre to colleges and universities to generate at least 15 per cent of their annual maintenance costs through internal sources.
This was necessary to meet the challenge posed by a host of foreign universities starting academic operations in India with the General Agreement on Trades in Services (GATS) coming into effect this year.
However, the agitation forces a partial fee rollback.
Punjab continued to lag behind Haryana in the field of education. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NACC), which was constituted five years ago, certified almost 150 colleges in Haryana (and is in the process of awarding accreditation to 120 more). In comparison, only a dozen colleges in Punjab applied for accreditation during the year!
Sixty per cent colleges in the country are unable to meet the minimum education standards, according to NACC Director Prof V.N. Radhashekhran Pillai. These colleges have outdated infrastructure, need overhaul of financial resources and effective manpower. The NCC, in its report this year, has certified only 5,000 colleges with minimum infrastructure out of a total of 14,000 colleges in the country.
Haryana also made a mark in the field of technical education. The number of technical institutes went up from 63 in 1999-2000 to 116 in 2003-04. The intake in these institutes increased from 9,323 to 20,977 in the corresponding period. The number of engineering colleges now stood at 34 with a sanctioned students’ strength of 10,631 in 2003-04.
In a significant decision, the University Grants Commission did away with geographical boundaries of universities. Colleges now can be affiliated to more than one university in the country. As a result of the decision, a college in Ludhiana runs courses with affiliation to 13 universities! The universities, too, have been allowed to open their study centres all over the country. Colleges located in one state can have affiliation with universities of other states and even foreign ones.
Though education now will have no geographical borders, will be facilitated through network learning centres and offer a variety of courses to students, the situation is far from a Utopian one. It is faced with dangers — the foremost being dilution of academic standards. A chaotic situation is bound to be created with study centres outside the defined boundaries almost impossible to be run effectively by the universities. Coupled with this is the problem of foreign universities, several of which have been found to be fake or non-descript in their own countries.
India must learn from China’s experience where a flood of "for-profit" private colleges and universities catering to those denied admission in established universities, charging exorbitant fee, are proving to be of limited value. The deluge of degree-holders has intensified labour pressures in a society struggling with transition to a market economy, just like India’s. It had been warned that the policy of privatisation of education would dilute academic standards while merely deferring the unemployment problem.
From 1998 to 2002 the strength of students in Chinese colleges and universities jumped from 6.4 million to 14 million. Since 1997, as many as 67 new private universities and colleges as well as schools affiliated to existing universities have sprung up. The surge in graduates has outstripped the economy’s ability to provide good jobs. The picture is likely to be almost identical in India, but all apprehension expressed by scholars in this direction have been set aside for commercial interests by the powers that be.
In India, Chhattisgarh has stolen the march over the rest of the states in the opening of new universities. It set up 30 universities in six months with more in the pipeline! Since universities can be set up either by an Act of Parliament or state legislation, Chhattisgarh passed the Private University Act in 2002, the first state to do so. Others, including Uttaranchal, followed suit.
The academic world was rocked by several rackets this year, shaking the confidence of the people in the fairness of the education system.
The Common Admission Test (CAT) proved to be a goldmine for some, turning them into millionaires. The CAT scandal made headlines and the kingpin and his accomplices were arrested. It was found that in the 2003 CAT exam, 600 of the 1200-odd seats for medicine went to candidates from Bihar. Also, for the first time in the 42-year-old-history of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the CAT for MBA was cancelled in November because of fears of the paper having being leaked a few hours ahead of the exam. This affected at least 1,27,000 aspirants appearing from 26 centres across the country. The exam will now be held in February.
A major marks-for-money CBSE racket was unearthed in Chandigarh and adjoining areas. Students allegedly paid between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per paper to a gang which filled their answersheets at home. An Akali activist, who had close links with CBSE officials, was held in Amritsar. He "helped" aspirants for the PMT entrance test.
Balender Shekhar Tiwari was held in
May in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, in a PhD degree scam. A teacher in the
Hindi Department of Ranchi University, he allegedly sold Ph.D degrees
between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh each.
tightens noose on private varsities
By one stroke of pen, the University Grants Commission has saved hundreds of students in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K from sleepless nights – a trauma that the Delhi and National Capital Region students are facing.
Luck for them has come in the form of a potent document called UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003, notified in the official gazette on December 8.
The document, in no uncertain terms, seals the fate of existing private universities and ensures a safe future for students in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K where private universities were about to be launched by investors with the sole aim of making a fast buck
The malaise had touched menacing proportions in the NCR where hundreds of students are being duped by fly-by-night education operators who have registered their shops as a university in the faraway, insignificant Raipur, the capital of newly formed Chhattisgarh.
The Chairman of the UGC, Prof Arun Nigavekar, who had silently but strategically, steered the move for over six months, does not specify any particular brand of universities, but the tone and tenor of the regulations, indicate that he has been particularly disturbed by the 100-odd private universities registered at Raipur in just three months.
"These universities pose a serious threat to our country, not only because they cheat the students but also because they can trigger off inter-state conflicts", he told this writer a couple of weeks ago.
What he was pointing at was the universities that register themselves at a far off state and do business in the NCR or a different state, posing a law and order problem for the host state.
Consider the case of a students enrolled for a course run by a university registered in Chhattisgarh, running its campus in Chandigarh. Where would the students go if the university suddenly closes down its centre in Chandigarh and vanishes? The police will register FIRs and the matter will end there — because to seek justice and pursue the matter one would have to go to Chhattisgarh.
With the new UGC Regulations, 2003, in place, all those wishing to open a private university will have to submit their proposal to the UGC and get its approval before getting it registered anywhere in the country.
Even the universities mushrooming blatantly in and round the NCR, will have to compulsorily "ad here to the Regulations within a period of three months" and failure to comply with the requirement, "shall render any degree/diploma awarded by a private university," invalid and "shall invite penalty under Section 24 of the UGC Act."
Clauses 3.7 and 3.8 of the regulations, listed at the fag-end of the document make it mandatory that "a private university shall provide all the relevant information" about the university "to the UGC on a performa prescribed by the UGC prior to starting of these programmes." The university, say the clauses, "shall offer the programme(s) only after necessary ratification" by the UGC. And the ratification, it is believed, will not be easy to come by.
To avoid complications, the regulations, first of all, stress that "a private university established under a State Act shall operate, ordinarily, within the boundary of the State concerned.".
Henceforth , all private universities will have to seek, in writing, prior approval of the UGC and the state/UT concerned in which the university proposes to open its campus or a centre. The regulations specifically insist on the fact that a private university should remain confined to the territorial limits of the state/UT in which it is registered.
Off-campus centres, if any, would be allowed five years later, in exceptional cases, "after the development of main campus."
Prof Nigavekar, who has exhaustively studied the pattern of private universities feels that the recent mushrooming of private universities and deemed-universities was largely to hoodwink the apex bodies like the All -India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
Hence clause 3.4 has been especially
inserted to elucidates that "a private university shall fulfill
the minimum criteria in terms of programmes, faculty, infrastructural
facilities, financial viability, etc., as laid down from time to time
by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies such as AICTE, Bar
Council of India (BCI), Dental Council of India (DCI), Medical Council
of India (MCI), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
Jan 10 ’04: Indian Navy, Post Bag No. 5270, Chanakyapuri PO, New Delhi 110011 www.nausena-bharti.mil.in
SSC Officers in the Tech Branches (Submarine Cadre) (Aug ‘04 Course)
Elig: Unmarried Indian males, BE/ BTech (60%) in Mech/ Elect/ Electron/ Telecom/ Control Engg. DoB: Aug 2 ’79 –Feb 1 ’85. Selectn: SSB interview, Tests. Details: Employment News (Dec 20-26)/Website.
Feb 5: Indian Army, ADG of Recruiting (Women Entry Sec), West Block-III, R K Puram, New Delhi 110066 www.joininidanarmy.nic.in
Women Special Entry Scheme (Officers)
Elig: Unmarried women/ issueless widows; BE/ BTech (Comp Sc/ Mech/ Telecom/ Electron/ Prodn/ IT/ Elect)
Selectn: SSB interview, Aptitude Test Details: Website.
Electronics Service & Training Centre (Under M/o SSI, GoI), Kaniya, Ramnagar, Distt. Nainital 244715 (Utt).
Specialized Training Programmes (8-wks):
1) UPS & CVT Assembly
2) Microprocessor based Instrument design & Manufacturing
Elig: BE/ BTech/ BSc/ ITI passSelectn: Interview (Dec 30 ’03)Details: Employment News (Dec 20 – 26).
Ranjita Institute of Hotel management & Catering Technology, Bidyanagar, Mahura, Jania, Bhubaneshwar 752054 (Orr) (Under Biju Patnaik University of Technology) Hotel Mgt & Catering Tech (4-yr)
Elig: 10+2 (Sc/ Comm/ Arts).
Selectn: Written Test (Jan 11 ’04), Interview at ‘College of Engg & Tech, Techno Campus, Kalinganagar, Ghatikia, Bhubaneshwar’
Take Original docs, two pp photos, two a/c payee DD (One for Rs 500/- and other for Rs 16,000/-) favouring "Biju Patnaik University of Technology", payable at Bhubaneshwar.
Jan 16 ’04: Central Hindi Directorate, (MHRD, D/o Secondary & Higher Educn), West Block-7, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110 066 Basic Hindi (60 hrs, evening) Elig: Foreign Nationals and NRIs living in India.Appln F: Contact the office at above add.
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad offers through distance learning the following courses:-
*3 years Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM)
*2 years Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management (PGDMM)
*2years Post Graduate Diploma in; Human Resource Management (PGDHRM)
*2 years Post Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management (PGDSCM)
*Eligibility graduate in any stream.
No entrance test for Defence Personnels & Working Managers with 5 years of working experience.
1 year specialised diploma courses in
*Eligibility 10+2 with 5 years working experience or graduate in any discipline. Student appearing in final year may also apply.
For distance learning programmes, prospectus and Application Forms can be obtained from I.M.T. Study Centre, BXX-3050 Gurdev Nagar Ludhiana 141001. Phone No. 0161-2421520, 9814153399.
Last date of submission of Forms: 15 January 2004.
Date of Entrance test for admission to PG Courses: 18 January 2004 (Sunday).
Jan 7 ’04: Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management, Management House, College Square West, Kolkata 700073
PG Diploma in Sports Mgt (1-yr)
Elig: Bachelor’s degree, Age: 25 yrs (30yrs for exceptional cases)
Selectn: Written test, GD, Interview.
Appln F: Send Rs 275/- by DD favouring "IISWBM", payable at Kolkata to above add/ D’load from website.
Jan 15: Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, Deptt of Distance Learning, PO Box No 137, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad-201001 (U.P.) www.imt.edu
1) PG Diploma in Business Mgt (3-yr)
2) PG Diploma (Mktg Mgt, Supply Chain Mgt, HRM) (2-yr)
3) Specialized Diploma (Business Admin, Materials Mgt, Mktg Mgt, Financial Mgt, Personnel Mgt, Export Mgt)
Elig: For 1 & 2: Bachelor’s deg, For 3: 10+2 (with 5-yr supervisory wk-exp)/ Bachelor’s deg/ 3-yr dip (Engg)
Appln F: Send Rs 750/- by DD favouring "Institute of Management Technology", payable at Ghaziabad to above add.
Jan 12 ’04: King George’s Medical University, Lucknow 226003 (UP)
DM/ MCh All-India Entrance Exam 2003 (for admission to Med colleges of UP & King George’s Med Univ) (Cardiol, Neurol, Endocrinol, Plastic Surg, Cardiothoracic Surg)
Elig: MD/ MS.
Exam: Jan 31-Feb 1 ‘04.
Appln F: Send Rs. 1025/- by DD favouring "Co-ordinator, DM/MCh AIEE 2003" payable at Lucknow to above add. Details: Website.
Jan 12: King George’s Medical University, Lucknow 226003 (UP)
UP Post Graduate Medical Entrance Exam 2 004 (for admission to MD/ MS/ PG Dip & MDS courses in King George’s Med College, Lucknow & the UP state medical colleges at Agra, All’bad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Kanpur & Meerut)
Elig: MBBS/ BDS from recog’d Med/ Dental colleges of UP. (Should have completed rotary internship by May 1 ’04)
Exam: Feb 1 ’04.
Appln F: In cash Rs 700/- at authorized br of Allahabad bank at above cities.
Feb 16: Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi 110024
Master of Nursing (2 yrs).
Elig: BSc (H) (Nursing) (12+4 yrs; 55%) + 2-yr wk ex (3-yr for 11+4 Nursing Deg holders) in Nursing in Hosp/Speciality Instt./Educational Instt./ Public Health Agency.
Selctn: Test on March 19 ’04.Appln F: Send Rs. 150/- by IPO/ DD favouring "Principal, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi" to above add by Jan 30 ‘04.
Feb 17: Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune 411040
MBBS Elig: 10+2 with Eng & PCB (1st attempt, 60%) & Maths in Class 10/ BSc.
Age: For 10+2: 17-22 yr (DoB: 1 Jan ’83—31 Dec ’87). For BSc: Below 24 yrs (on 31 Dec ’04).
Selectn: All–India written test (May 2 ‘04) at 49 centres, Interview.
Appln F: Send Rs 155/- by DD favouring "Commandant, AFMC, Pune" payable at Pune & with your particulars & add, 2 self-add slips (9 x 5 cm) and stamped (Rs 55/-), self-add env (11" x 13") by Jan 30. Write your name & add on reverse of DD. Also at designated HPOs. (i.e. Ch ’grh HPO): Rs 155/- (cash).
Apr 12 ’04: Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi 110024
BSc (H) Nursing (4-yr)
Elig: SSC/ ISC (PCB & Eng, 50%). Age: Min 17 yrs. Selectn: Test (Jun 22 ’04).Appln F: Send Rs 150/- by IPO/ DD favouring "Principal, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Lajpat Nagar" payable at Delhi to above add by Mar 26 ’04.
Jan 31: D/o Biotechnology (GoI, M/o Sc & Tech), Block-2, 6th Fl, CGO Complex, Lodi Rd, New Delhi 110003
Biotech Overseas Associateship 2003-04
1) Basic research in New Biol & Biotech: Genomics, Proteomics, BioInfo, Basic Biol Phenomena with Potential Appln.
2) Agril & Plant Biotech
3) Environ & Biodiversity
4) Med Biotech
5) Bioprocess, Product devpt & bioinstrumentations
6) Animal Biotech
7) Aquaculture & Marine Biotech
Elig: PhD/MD in relev field with research contribution & involved in R&D wk. Age: Long-term Associateship: below 40 yrs; Short-term Associateship: below 50 yrs.
Appln F: Send in prescribed format to the International Collaboration Division (Attn: Dr Shailja Vaidya Gupta, PSO, Deptt of Biotech) at above add.
Feb 29 International Fellowships Program, 12 Hailey Rd, New Delhi 110001 www.ifpsa.org
Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program
45 fellowships to pursue PG/ Doctoral study in Soc Sc & Humanities at any univ Appln F: Send request to above add.
Details: Employment News (Dec 20 – 26 ’03) /website.
— Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING