The Telegraph
Saturday , February 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bokaro rues lack of PG courses in city colleges
- VBU vice chancellor says his hands are tied; blames teacher crunch, inadequate facilities

Bokaro, which is often referred to in glowing terms because of its top-notch schools, is a long way from establishing itself in the field of post-graduate education.

Promises about ensuring PG courses, made by several luminaries have long been left unfulfilled. The last assurance came in April 2012 from vice chancellor of Vinoba Bhave University (VBU) Ravindra Nath Bhagat.

He had promised to launch PG courses at Bokaro Steel City College from the 2013-14 academic session while he was there to inaugurate a library. But, that hasn’t happened yet.

Bokaro has three constituent colleges, Bokaro Steel City College, KB College- Bermo, Chas College, besides around a dozen private and affiliated colleges. But, all of them are graduate colleges with none offering PG teaching.

“Both students and teachers were hopeful after the vice chancellor’s assurance about the launch of PG courses in commerce, political science, economics and history,” said S. K. Sharma, Bokaro Steel City College.

He claimed the college had the required infrastructure and, most important, had a huge number of students pursuing undergraduate studies in the four subjects.

“Up to the graduation level, our college has around 1,200 students in commerce and 600 students each in political science, history and economics. Thus, our college deserves PG courses,” he added.

Every year, hundreds of students from Bokaro are forced to move to Dhanbad or Hazaribagh to pursue PG studies.

“Visit any PG department of the only post-graduate college of Dhanbad, PK Roy Memorial College, and you will find that 60 per cent to 70 per cent students are from Bokaro,” said Rajeev Singh, Bokaro district convener of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Safety is another issue, brought to the fore once again after the Delhi gangrape that has led to nationwide protests.

“Many parents are, therefore, not willing to allow girls to stay away from home and pursue higher studies in Dhanbad or Hazaribagh by staying at private hostels,” said Purushottam Kumar Singh, state executive member of ABVP.

He added that they would soon launch a signature campaign to demand PG courses in their city.

KB College principal in charge R.B. Singh said PG courses were being conducted at their college till 2004. They were withdrawn by the state HRD department during the ministerial tenure of P.N. Singh so that PG courses could be conducted at centralised locations with adequate infrastructure.

Vice chancellor Bhagat blamed lack of necessary infrastructure as the primary reason for not allowing PG teaching in Bokaro. Among the major inadequacies, he said, were a shortage of teachers, lack of classrooms, libraries and laboratories.

“We have only 22 professor for 19 PG departments at the university and thus any decision will have to be taken after taking into consideration ground realities,” he said.