Jamshedpur/Ranchi, Feb. 2: A Supreme Court decision this week will enable institutions affiliated to a university to offer postgraduate courses for the first time in the state.
Postgraduate education, till now, was confined to constituent colleges administered directly by the university.
The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the special leave petition preferred by Ranchi University against a Jharkhand High Court order that directed it to allow Netaji Subhas Institute of Business Management, located at Pokhari between Jamshedpur and Ghatshila, affiliation for launching MBA course for the 2005-06 session.
The high court held that while RU statutes stated that PG education would be conducted in constituent colleges, they were silent on whether affiliated colleges could also offer PG courses. What’s more, the high court held, the rule was no longer relevant in view of the clearance obtained by the institute from the All India Council of Technical Education, the national body responsible for benchmarking standards of technical education.
Earlier also institutes like Jamshdpur-based Karim City College and Ranchi-based XISS had tried in vain to get affiliation for their proposed PG courses. But their pleas were turned down by RU citing rule 4 (16) of its statutes.
NSIBM, promoted by the son of a police officer, is part of a group which operates several schools and other educational institutions, which do not apparently enjoy a good reputation. There have been allegations in the past of the institutions making money by allowing “private students” to appear at final exams in return for hefty fees. Netaji Subhas Public School, on the NH-33, was also in the news recently after two of its students committed suicide.
But NSIBM had obtained a no-objection certificate from the state government in January 2005. In July the same year, it managed to get clearance from the AICTE and in October, the department of science & technology wrote to RU, asking it to give affiliation to the MBA course for the 2005-06 session. The institute also went to the high court and obtained a favourable order. RU then filed a revision petition, which was dismissed in March 2006 and in April, the high court threatened to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the university if affiliation to the course was not granted within a week.
While RU hurriedly granted affiliation, it filed an SLP before the Supreme Court, challenging the high court’s order. Shocked at the dismissal of its SLP, RU officials on Friday lamented that it would now become even more difficult to maintain quality of higher education as floodgates are now sure to open.
Observers, however, questioned such reaction by wondering if RU had succeeded in maintaining a higher standard of PG education by keeping it confined to constituent units. “Once an institution gets clearance from the AICTE and establishes that it has the infrastructure, the faculty among others to impart PG education in a subject,” asserted an educationist, “there is no reason really to deny them an opportunity.” He felt that the change in ground rules would lead to healthy competition and force the universities to pull up their socks.
There was elation at NSIBM and the 15 students it had enrolled for the MBA course, in anticipation, that its affiliation would be extended by RU, welcomed the court’s decision.