The teachers’ association at Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) on Monday wrote to governor C.V. Ananda Bose, requesting him to ensure that the institution gets adequate funds for the implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme.
The association mentioned in the letter to the governor, who is the chancellor of all state universities, that the implementation of the four-year programme “would require adequate funds and infrastructure”.
Teachers at RBU said they wanted the chancellor — who has been visiting state universities to insist on the implementation of the programme from the forthcoming academic year, in compliance with the National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020 — to speak to the Centre or the UGC for funds.
In his convocation address at Rabindra Bharati University on Monday, Bose again advocated the implementation of the policy.
“While it is fine to learn from the chancellor about the benefits of the NEP, he must speak to the regulatory body or the Union education ministry so funds can be ensured. Or else the universities will struggle with the implementation because funds are the foremost requirement,” Debabrata Das, secretary of the teachers’ association who signed the letter, told The Telegraph.
The letter, which was handed to the chancellor during the university’s court meeting held before the convocation, says: “In order to run the newly proposed four-year UG programme (the university has started taking necessary initiatives to implement the same from the forthcoming academic session itself), the university would require adequate funds and infrastructure. We most humbly appeal before your kind self to look into the matter and ensure that the university gets adequate resources to make the UG programme viable.”
Calls to the chancellor from this newspaper went unanswered. Messages sent to him through WhatsApp and email, too, failed to elicit any response.
The chancellor during his recent visit to Calcutta University and West Bengal State University, Barasat, had highlighted the need to implement the NEP 2020.
The state education department had on March 17 written to all state-aided universities “to take appropriate steps” for the introduction of the four-year undergraduate programme “from the forthcoming academic session” in compliance with the NEP 2020.
The principals of a number of colleges affiliated to CU had told then vice-chancellor Ashis Chatterjee at a meeting on April 10 that the university should plead with the state government or the UGC for funds to set up adequate infrastructure for implementing the four-year programme.
According to UGC regulations: “The departments offering a four-year UG degree (honours with research) must have required infrastructure such as computer lab and software, laboratory facilities to carry out experimental research, and at least two permanent faculty members who are recognised as PhD supervisors.”
A teacher at RBU said higher education institutions do not have funds of their own to develop infrastructure. “The state government does not provide adequate funds under the non-salary grants because of a funds crunch. As the Union education ministry has conceived the programme, it has an obligation to provide funds.”