South Asian University, $70 Million world class university dream, struggling for basic Infra & curriculum

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South Asian University

South Asian University

According to a news report in CNN IBN, the South Asia University, set up at a cost of $ 70 million, and currently having  over 200 students from SAARC countries, is in a pathetic state.

Six years after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced his pet project, what was supposed to be a world-class university in India is in fact a big mess. The Delhi-based university has no campus, no hostel and is struggling with curriculum. SAU was supposed  to bridge the knowledge gap in the subcontinent, but seems to have bee launched without proper planning in a hurry.

According to former faculty members, the curriculum was designed after courses were started. University officials also confirmed that proper entrance exams were not conducted for courses like MCA.

Educationists say as per UGC norms SAU is not fit enough to qualify as a university.

An ex-faculty member has, in fact, written to the union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister about arbitrary appointments.

A senior university official confirms to CNN-IBN that entrance exams were not properly conducted, leading to the bad result.

The situation looks no better this year as well.

“Books are not available in the library. We can’t issue books for more than three days, how are we supposed to study?” said an enrolled student.

The university is operating out of two temporary campuses at Akbar Bhavan and the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The rundown Centaur Hotel is their hostel. Women students don’t feel safe.

CEO Prof Chadha says that students will soon be shifted to Akbar Bhawan, but educationists say SAU is not fit to be called a university.

“If UGC applies the same standards they apply to private universities to give it approval, SAARC will take another three years before it can be called a university,” said Mahesh Sharma an educationist.

There are allegations of mismanagement as well. A faculty member had even written to then HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and the MEA about arbitrary appointments.

Things came to a pass when Prof Saxena, who was the OSD, chose to appoint himself as the head of biotech dept,” said the former faculty member.

However, it’s not just internal problems. While India wants an Indian Vice Chancellor, SAARC nations want the post in rotation.

What may have been a dream institution setting new benchmarks, has been reduced to a sham.

(source: Meenakshi Upreti, CNN IBN)