Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Deemed to Doomed University!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal seems to be in a mood to revolutionise higher education in India. He started with the argument for single board from the country, then scrapping of exams at the matriculation level and went to suggest 80% of marks as a criteria for seeking admission to the IITs. Now he has dropped a bomb on more than 2 lakh students by de recognising 44 deemed universities across 13 states in India.

Although nobody doubts Sibal's ability or his intent in changing the face of education in India he might be taking too many harsh steps which will pressurise the students more than change the educational system in India. There has been panic in the minds of the students studying in these deemed universities which seems to have become doomed overnight after the Central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court requesting de-recognition.

It's a known fact that most of the Deemed Universities de recognised by the Centre ought to have been de recognised. Many were granting degrees at will and have become money laundering in wake of the autonomy granted to them and represent teaching caf├ęs rather than universities. Some have upped their intake level beyond their permissible limits while most don't have experienced faculty to teach students in professional courses that they have started.

But the big questions that arises is who is responsible for granting them deemed status? Sibal's predecessor Arjun Singh's tenure as the HRD ministry is one of darkest phases in India's history. The controversy surrounding his reservation policy meant that the faulty process of accreditation that went under his nose went unnoticed. And the results are here for all of us to see. The Centre is in a Catch 22 situation where it has to de-recognise the deemed status even though it doesn't want to do so.

The biggest victims here have been the students who have flocked to these institutes seeing their deemed status. Now these people are uncertain about their future. These people who have invested their time and money in these institutes are in a panic mode all due to our bureaucracy and faulty educational system. Now will anybody from Arjun Singh to his bureaucrats to people running these institutions face any legal action?

Although Sibal's action was inevitable he could have approached it in a different manner. A time frame could have been set for revoking the deemed status so that the future students to these institutes could have a better choice at the same time the present crowd would have been spared. Monetary compensation to each student could have been a good idea to punish these institutes. As for Arjun Singh and his team nothing much can be done as all politician and bureaucrats in India enjoy immunity from legal action.


LIJO February 20, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

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