Published On: Wed, Jun 8th, 2011

15 Andhra Universities denied UGC grant

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15 universities set up by the state government since 2005 have been denied the central assistance by the University Grants Commission. The UGC has refused to accord ‘12(B) status’ to these universities that have been found unfit for the assistance. Under 12(B), the UGC grants funds of Rs 2 crore per annum to a university to develop infrastructure and other facilities for students and faculty.

To get 12(B) status a university must have a college development council, academic audit cell, academic branch, board of studies and exam branch apart from deans, senior professors, deputy registrars and assistant registrars on its staff. None of these 15 universities have complied with these norms. The fact, though, is that the UGC has not released Rs 10 crore it had promised to each of these universities a year ago to enable them to get the 12(B) status because the state government has failed to develop the minimum infrastructure and facilities to enable the universities to acquire 12(B) status. The `10 crore to each university was to go towards appointing a professor, two readers and four associate professors and to set up at least five departments, which is the minimum requirement to qualify for 12(B) status.

In 2005, the then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy has opened many universities under his one university in each district policy. The state government has allotted just Rs 15 crore to all these universities put together during these five years. This amount has been enough only to meet the payment of salaries for faculty and non-teaching staff, leaving nothing for development of the university. Of the 15 new universities, seven were established in 2008 in Nalgonda, Machilipatnam, Nellore, Srikakulam, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar and Karimnagar. The other three universities, in Nizamabad, Rajahmundry and Kadapa, were set up in 2006, and the rest in 2005.

“Normally, it requires Rs 50 crore to set up a new university. But in these cases, the government started the new universities with a zero corpus fund. The PG centres of old universities, located in district headquarters, were converted into universities. Nothing was changed except the name board. No one but the government is to be blamed for the present mess,” said Mr G. Nageshwar, a senior professor. In spite of poor state of these universities, the government has allowed them to give affiliation to colleges under their jurisdiction.

The decision was taken by the government with any eye on earning fees from colleges towards affiliation charges. “Affiliation without minimum faculty and an examination branch makes no sense. These universities will have to run after their parent universities to conduct exams, evaluate answer scripts and announce results on their behalf. The government should lay stress on appointment of minimum faculty and provide basic infrastructure first. Otherwise, it will serve no purpose,” said Mr K. Raja Ratnam, a retired professor.

[Source: Deccan Herald]