babysitting in colleges, please
babysitting in colleges, please
During December and January, I spent a few weeks in the south. While almost everyone accepts that the south is doing better than the north in respect of development, I looked at what’s happening in higher education.
Tamil Nadu was the first state to set up autonomous colleges. The Kothari Commission had made this proposal in the mid 1960s and when Malcolm Adiseshiah became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras, steps in this direction were taken, but after his term was over, there was no follow-up.
It took a decade or so after that for the momentum to pick up. Today, Tamil Nadu has nearly 70 autonomous colleges.
The leadership in education has been consistently hostile to the idea of autonomous colleges. It is afraid that if more of these were established, it would erode the parity between the pay scales in colleges and universities. Whenever there’s any attempt to confer autonomy upon colleges, teachers’ bodies oppose it. Still, some of the southern states have taken the bold initiative. A number of these colleges have attained enviable position.
When the Kothari Commission was writing its report, the phrase "baby-sitting" was used to describe what most colleges found themselves doing. A huge number of students went to college not to get higher education, but because they had nothing else to do. Jobs were difficult to find and joining a college was one way of doing little and having an illusion of activity. The parents were not afraid to keep their wards in college, as the tuition fee was on the low side. It was kept deliberately low so that it did not impede what had become acceptable. Most of the boys got into this mode, and a large number of girls found it expedient to enroll in a college before they got married.
It went on for almost three decades. Then, the upwardly mobile middle class pushed for greater enrollment, particularly in professional colleges. The pressure became so overwhelming that, eventually, the Supreme Court had to intervene in the early 1990s and 2002. Two judgments allowed professional colleges to determine their own fee structure and abide by the standards laid down by the university.
Some of these courses like business management and computer application could be described as professional and yet not exactly that. A number of "pseudo-professional" courses became popular and even non-professional colleges began to offer these. More colleges introduced expensive courses, while the government took a relaxed view. Market forces came to determine almost everything and the government went even beyond. In most of the southern states, the state pays the full salary of the approved teachers. Since the demand for teachers was mounting and the state could not cope with it, different states started moving this way.
If somebody retired or passed away, that job was not revalidated. Colleges (even the universities in some cases) engaged nearly 15 per cent of teachers on part-time, ad hoc or payment-for-lecture basis. Formulas were worked out and most of these colleges found they had no choice but to appoint a certain number of such teachers. The teachers’ bodies have not been able to stop this.
A number of colleges in south have done what the north now needs to emulate. States in the west have already adopted the system to a large extent, whereas the eastern states are moving in that direction. It is only in the north that teachers come in the morning and, except for the science teachers, the rest go home in three-four hours. Most colleges in north India are mid-day institutes, while colleges in the south run two five-hour shifts beginning at 8 am and with an interval of 15 minutes. Building and other physical resources are, thus, put to optimum use. A market fee that goes to the revenue fund pays the wages of the required number of full-time teachers. The percentage of part-time and ad hoc teachers has come down.
In Delhi, the system is wasteful and self-serving. A large number of students live in the south, but all the respectable colleges are in north. In the morning, everyone is seen rushing out to the college and at midday, you can find everyone rushing back home. That is why the colleges are deserted after midday. The combined worth of these colleges is nearly Rs 500 crores. Obviously, "baby-sitting" has run its course.
If fees were to be increased, the education of deserving and meritorious students would have to be subsidised. The policy to charge high fees cannot be implemented unless someone takes the first step. Imagination and pragmatism are abundant in the south, and clearly in short supply here.
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, on March 12, will address the fifth convocation of the university. The Chancellor of the university, Governor V. S. Kokje, would confer 563 degrees and 14 gold medals on students on this occasion that has come after three years.
This includes 126 B.Sc. (horticulture), 69 B.Sc. (Forestry), 57 M.Sc. (horticulture), 76 PhD (Horticulture), 28 PhD (Forestry) and 66 MBA (Agribusiness) degrees. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S. S. Negi, at a meeting of the convocation committee, directed all officials to put in their best effort for the success of the show.
Dr I. P. Sharma, Professor and Head of the Department of Soil Sciences and Water Management, has been nominated by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, as member of the Indian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (INCID) for three years.
The committee has the mandate of promoting development and appreciation of the agricultural engineering in managing ecology, water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood control and research in these areas.
Dr Sharma has already participated in the fifth Research and Development Review Committee meeting of the INCID at Bangalore early February.
Over to core banking
The local branch of the State Bank of Patiala has migrated to core banking to enable its customers to operate their accounts in any branch of the bank in the country. This is the first such bank in the state to have achieved this feat, says the Branch Manager, Mr J. K. Dutta. An ATM has also been installed at the campus gate.
Five new projects
Five new projects worth Rs 1.42 crore have been approved by the project approval committee of the Himachal Pradesh Government under its Horticulture Technology Mission for the Mini Mission-II.
These projects include establishment of a multi-crop nursery, plant health clinic, leaf analysis laboratory and bio-control laboratory at the Regional Horticulture Centre. According to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S. S. Negi, this would help in strengthening the research and extension activities of the university and helping farmers.
A project worth Rs 21 lakh has been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. It involves studies on longidorid nematode species and their interaction with viruses in strawberries. Spanning three years, Dr M. Luqman Khan, a scientist from the Department of Entomology and Apiculture, would be the principal investigator for the project.
Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun (UA)
RIMC Entrance Exam
Eligibility: Boys in/passed Cl VII. Age: 11`BD-13 yr (on 1 Jan ‘06)
Exam: English & Maths: 01 Jun; GK: 02 Jun; Interview: 05 Oct
Appln F: Send Rs 190/- by DD fvg "Comdt RIMC" to The Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun (UA) at above add.
Union Public Service
Commission, Dholpur House, New Delhi-110069
Special Class Railway Apprentices Exam – 2005
Eligibility: Indian, Cl 12 (Maths, Phy/Chem). Age: 17-21 yrs (on 1 Aug ‘05).
Exam: 24 Jul.
Appln F: At designated HPOs/POs: Rs 20/- (Cash).
Details: Employment News (15-21 Feb) & website.
Central Institute of
Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), IDA-Phase-II,
Master Prog in CAD/CAM/CAE & Mold Des (6-mth)
Details: Employment News (19-25 Feb)
Environment & Forestry
1) MSc Forestry (Eco & Mgt)
2) MSc (Wood Sc & Tech)
3) MSc (Environ Mgt)
4) PG Dip in Plantation Tech (1-yr)
5) PG Dip in Biodiversity Conservation (1-yr)
Eligibility: For 1: BSc (Bot/ Chem/ Geol/ Maths/ Phy/ Zool) or Bachelor’s deg (Agri/ Forestry).
For 2: BSc (PCM)/ BSc (Forestry).
For 3: Bachelor’s deg (Basic/ Appl Sc/ Forestry/ Agri)/ BE (Environ Sc).
For 4: MSc (Bot/ Chem/ Zool) with Bot in BSc/ MSc (Agri).
Selection: Entrance Test: 15 May
Appln F: Send Rs. 400/- by DD fvg "Registrar, FRI (Deemed Univ)", payable at Dehradun, to the above add by 31 March or d’load from website.
Details: Employment News (19-25 February)
BSc Deg & Dip in Hotel Mgt
Selection: Written Test
Appln F: Send Rs 500/- by DD fvg "Institute of Hotel Management" payable at Meerut to above add.
Hotel Mgt (4-yrs)
Eligibility: 10+2. Age Limit: 22 yrs.
Appln F: Send Rs 500/- by DD fvg "Institute of Hotel Management" payable at Aurangabad (Mah) to Admissions at above add.
IT, Comp Sc & Engg, Electron & Comm Engg, Biotech
Eligibility: 10+2 (Not before ‘02), DoB: After 1 Oct 1984.
Selection: AIEEE 2005 (May 8)
Appln F: Send Rs 600/- by DD fvg "Jaiprakash Sewa Sansthan", payable at New Delhi to Registrar at above add.
1) PG Dip in Comp Appln (PGDCA):
Eligibility: Bachelor’s deg with Maths at 10+2
Exam: 03 Apr, GD & Interview
Appln F: Send Rs 1,250/- by DD fvg "Institute of Management Technology" payable at Ghaziabad / Nagpur with 2 self-add stickers with add and contact numbers to the Chairman (Admissions) by 15 March at above add or d’load from website.
B-10, Qutab Institutional
Area, Tara Crescent, New Delhi-110016
PG Prog in Management (3-yr, PT)
Eligibility: Bachelor’s deg with 2-yr wk exp.
Selection: Test: 15 May & Interview.
Appln F: At counter: Rs 300/- or d’load from web.
1-yr Specialised Diploma Courses in Business Administration, Marketing Management, Export Management, Personnel Management, Financial Management and Materials Management
Eligibility: 10+2 with five-year work experience or graduate in any discipline. Students appearing in the final year may also apply
Appln F: IMT Study Centre, 40TF, Sant Ishar Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana 141001.
PG Diploma in Mktg Mgt (1-yr, FT)*
Eligibility: Bachelor’s deg (50%).
Selection: Written Test: 3 Apr, GD & Interview.
Appln F: Send Rs 750/- by DD fvg "The Times School of Marketing", payable at New Delhi with stamped (Rs. 37/-) self-add env (25 x 30 cms) to above add by 10 March.
Forms also available at: Ch’grh (Ph: 277 9016-18).
(*not recog by AICTE/UGC)
— Pervin Malhotra