The University of Pune (UoP) has a total of 638 affiliated colleges. Many of them situated in the interiors of Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts.
To keep a tab on the working of the colleges affiliated to the university, a four-member Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) visits an institute once in two years and submits a report to the Board of College and University Development (BCUD) of the UoP; a rule unchanged since many years. Surprisingly, the BCUD has never carried out any survey on the number of colleges lacking basic amenities, blatantly flouting norms, and still being affiliated without facing any action.
“Almost all LIC committees appointed by the varsity follow a sophisticated way of corruption. Ideally, it is expected that the LIC committee should inspect each and every facility in the college and the number of staff and impartially report on all lacunae.
But after getting ‘managed’ by the college managements, the committee recommends a time period of six months given by the UoP to fulfill the required criteria. Instead of taking action, the LIC members try to save the colleges,” said a senior officer working with BCUD department of UoP.
Surprisingly, there is no criterion to form an LIC and anyone having certain teaching experience can join the committee. “It is not expected that teachers having certain senior designation should only join the LIC. But yes, the role of LIC is really crucial,” said Dr V B Gaikwad, director of BCUD.
He also admitted that UoP did not have any such list of colleges that lack basic facilities on campus. When asked how was Shiv Parvati Society’s Arts College in Rashin town running since 14 years without any amenities, “We cannot shut any college overnight. The role of LIC is not to shut a college but considering all the factors many times the committee members give a period of three to six months to a college for compliance. Giving permission to start a new college is much easier than shutting a college,” he said.
“Before shutting any college, the varsity should also find out if there is any stock of grant received by state government and also make alternate arrangements for staff and students registered in the college.”
When questioned about who was responsible for giving permission to run a college like in Rashin town, the BCUD director had nothing to say.