Providing a concrete building, sufficient classrooms, libraries, playgrounds and toilets is the minimum a college can do before declaring itself open. But worry not; if you don’t meet any of these requirements your college will still get an affiliation from the University of Pune (UoP) as MiD DAY came to know when we visited a college in Rashin town, Ahmednagardistrict.
Located at the southern end of Ahmednagar district, around 120 kilometres from Pune, the Shiv Parvati Society’s Arts College is running in a tin shed with walls without any plaster, a single room common toilet for boys and girls and only three classrooms for 445 students; all this since 14 years.
Incidentally, the college does not lack just infrastructure. The chairperson Dr Rajkumar Andhalkar is allegedly running the college by flouting all rules set by UoP and state government. Shiv Parvati Society Arts College has total 13 staff members, includes six teachers — two clerks, one library assistant and four other non-teaching staff. However, all employees are alleging that they haven’t received their salaries since their joining.
No salary for staffers: The college has just 13 staff members, including six teachers, two clerks, one library assistant and four non-teaching workers. Most of the employees allege that they haven’t received their salaries since the time they joined
Popatrao Torkad, a non-teaching employee who joined the college in 2003, said, “At the time of joining, the chairperson assured me that I will get an official appointment letter within a fortnight and my salary will be according to the pay scale of state government. But, till date, I haven’t gotten paid. Whenever we demand our payments, Dr Andhalkar either gives us fake assurances or warns us that he will terminate us recruit new people.”
When asked about the response from the UoP administration as a rule clearly states that UoP’s Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) has to make regular annual visits to get an overview of a particular college and extend its affiliation with the varsity, another employee, Bandu Janjire, said, “After 2007, I have not seen any committee visiting our college. Many a times, the committee members were ‘managed’ by college management so they didn’t take the efforts.”
As if the above-mentioned goof-ups were not enough, the college didn’t conduct the Compulsory English exam for second year BA, scheduled on April 22 this year. “When we reached the college at 9.30 am on April 22, we were shocked to find that the exam material, including question papers and answer sheets, were locked up at the chairperson’s home and he was out of station with his mobile switched off,” said Torkad.
“We immediately sent a fax to the UoP exam department with a request for alternative arrangements for conducting the paper. However, we did not get any reply from the varsity,” said a teacher.
Finally, to make sure that remaining papers will held according to timetable, the UoP on the next day has sent a committee to calm the students.
Shivaji Sable, a UoP senate member who works in New Arts, Science and Commerce College, Ahmednagar was part of the three-member committee. Rectifying the situation, the UoP had arranged the Compulsory English paper to be conducted for the college on May 13, which progressed smoothly under the supervision of this committee.
“I was stunned by the condition of the college. There were only three classrooms without ceiling fans in which 445 students were expected to appear for exams. In a straight violation, the college administration allowed three students to sit on one bench,” said Sable.
“I have been associated with UoP since 1986 and I know the rules set for affiliated colleges, without which the college cannot run. Here the question is how such a bogus college can run for 14 years without any action taken by the varsity. What are the Local Inquiry Committees appointed by varsity doing? This is a real shame to the brand name of Pune University.” The Shiv Parvati Society’s Arts College Chairperson Dr Andhalkar has a clinic just adjacent to the college. However at the time of MiD-DAY’s visit, he was not present at either locations. Even the college Principal Dr U B Kondevar was also not present. Several attempts to contact both men proved futile.