New Delhi, Aug. 16: Universities under the control of state governments and having over 200 affiliated colleges are unlikely to get central grants under a proposed scheme.
The human resource development ministry has prepared the Rashtriya Uchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme, which aims to fund state government institutions based on quality norms. The scheme, having an annual outlay of Rs 25,000 crore, seeks to benefit 300 state government universities and about 13,000 general government colleges.
“One of the prerequisites is affiliation reforms. State universities will have to limit the number of affiliated colleges to 200,” an official said.
Former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental said too many affiliated colleges increase the burden on the university, affecting academic activities.
“It is a good move. State governments will have to create more universities and distribute colleges,” he said.
A large number of affiliated colleges means that faculty members are burdened with setting more question papers, holding more exams, evaluating more papers and inspecting more colleges at the time of renewal of affiliation.
“Teachers spend much time on these academic activities,” Pental said.
Sources said reducing the number of affiliated colleges would be very tough for some universities. Osmania University has 901 affiliated colleges, Pune University 811 and Mumbai University 711. The move won’t affect central universities as they don’t have too many affiliated colleges. Delhi University has only 80 affiliated colleges and JNU none.
At present, the University Grants Commission gives grants to universities and colleges recognised under provision 12-B of the UGC Act. An institution has to conform to quality norms under the provision.
The UGC provides funding to about 200 state universities and nearly 7,000 state government colleges. There are 316 state government universities and 13,024 state government colleges that can be covered under RUSA.
However, states can derive the benefits of the scheme only if they set up a state higher education council, comprising experts at the state level, to lay down guidelines on planning, monitoring and quality assurance of institutions. The states will have to set up their own accrediting agencies for quality control.
States like Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh have such councils. But no state government has set up any accrediting agency of its own.
Some academics feel the new scheme may help address the financial crisis in state government-run institutions but may fail to address key issues of governance that affect their functioning.
“Higher education is suffering largely because of mismanagement in appointment of vice chancellors and constitution of various committees by universities for different administrative and academic purposes,” said Janak Pandey, the vice-chancellor of the Central University of Bihar.
Several committees have recognised political interference in functioning of state universities and appointment of VCs and faculty.
“The functioning of universities can be improved by recruiting quality vice-chancellors and following transparency in constitution of various bodies in the universities. Providing more funds is not enough,” Pandey said.