After asking under-graduate colleges to offer courses only in the emerging areas and not only in conventional subjects, the government is ready with a fresh set of directives for the colleges wanting to expand their courses.
Last week, the government asked Calcutta University (CU) and other institutions of higher learning elsewhere in Bengal to allow their affiliates to introduce under-graduate courses in new subjects, provided they are willing to abide by certain conditions. “We have decided to allow a college to offer new courses only if it can assure us that it will be able to recruit at least two full-time teachers for the honours course and at least one for pass,” said Suranjan Das, CU pro vice-chancellor (academic). The university has a record number of 200 colleges affiliated to it.
“Our officials will begin an inspection of the colleges that have sought to offer new courses on Tuesday. We will inform them of the order then,” Das added.
In the new scheme of things, the institutions should be prepared to run the courses without any extra financial assistance from the government. They will receive no government grant for paying the teachers who will be appointed for the new courses. The directive also makes it mandatory for the colleges to recruit at least two teachers for honours in the new subject and at least one for the pass level.
In addition, the colleges will also be required to have a minimum of two full-time teachers for the new honours course and at least one for the pass course.
“At present, there is a rush among under-graduates for courses in emerging areas, like biotechnology, computer science, microbiology and business administration,” said a senior education official on Monday.
“But we are not in a position to take on any additional burden while sanctioning new posts for the colleges. The government has decided to impose the conditions, as it feels that such a measure will ensure that the colleges maintain quality in the teaching of the new subjects. On the other hand, it will enable the government to avoid an extra financial onus,” said the official.
The colleges will have the liberty to recruit full-timers on a consolidated salary and will not be required to pay the scale on a par with that stipulated by the University Grants Commission. They can also recruit full-time teachers on contract basis.
The universities have been told to send the directives to their affiliates. The decision was finalised at a recent meeting between Satyasadhan Chakraborty, state higher education minister, and officials of the universities.