Calcutta University has withdrawn permission to five affiliated colleges to offer defence studies as a subject because they don’t have enough teachers who specialise in it.
It is the first step in a drive to ensure that all affiliated colleges maintain quality. Other quality-control measures will be taken shortly, a university official said.
The five institutes prevented from teaching defence studies are Maulana Azad College, Behala College and Sushil Kar College in the south and Sree Chaitanya College and Nahata Jogendranath Mondal Smriti Mahavidyalaya on the northern fringes.
“Investigations revealed that the colleges offering defence studies did not have enough teachers in the subject. The university will not allow rules to be flouted,” vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said.
The five were the only colleges allowed to teach defence studies since CU introduced it as an optional subject in the 1990s. The colleges cannot offer the subject as a part of any course combination from the 2009-2010 academic session. Students currently studying the subject will, however, be allowed to write the university examinations.
An inquiry committee of the university found that the five colleges weren’t following the rules, especially in regard to recruitment of teaching staff.
The university’s board of defence studies had recommended to the authorities in October last year to scrap the course for want of teachers, said an official.
The board had also expressed its unwillingness to hold any examination in defence studies because of the lack of permanent teachers, according to an official of the examination department.
“We need experienced teachers to conduct undergraduate examinations in any subject. It is the teachers who set question papers and correct answer scripts,” explained the official.
The inquiry team found that Maulana Azad College, which has 50 seats in defence studies, was operating with a single part-time teacher for the subject. Sree Chaitanya College has only one full-time teacher and a part-time one for 417 students in defence studies.
Behala College has a single part-time teacher for 141 defence studies students, while a part-time teacher and the principal teach the subject at Sushil Kar College.
According to CU norms, a college must have at least two full-time teachers to offer a subject.
“While seeking permission to offer defence studies, all five colleges had declared that they would fulfil the norms for running the course. None of them has fulfilled these norms,” a member of the inquiry team said.
Sources in the university said the colleges had not even tried to upgrade their infrastructure for the course. “Full-time teachers can be appointed even on contract,” said an official.
“After the university inspection, we ourselves offered to scrap the course because we couldn’t find enough teachers for defence studies,” said an official of Maulana Azad College.