Sunday, January 24, 2010

From deemed to doomed, students see dreams crash

Their expressions swing from hope to despair as their institutes face the threat of losing the coveted deemed university tag. A day after the Central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court requesting derecognition of 44 deemed universities, students of four such varsities in the NCR were at crossroads, not finding comfort in the reassuring words of their faculty and management. Panic was palpable. A senior student of Santosh University at Pratap Vihar in Ghaziabad said: Its true that there are shortfalls. But we never expected derecognition even though the situation turned from bad to worse after the institute got deemed university status in 2007. Though we have really good teachers, there is hardly any system for recording attendance. Students come and go in their flashy cars. Some don't even come for exams but still pass.

It was set up as a medical college in 1995 and affiliated to Chaudhry Charan Singh University, Meerut. Dr. Mahalingam was the chairperson of the trust that founded it. Thereafter, it became a deemed university in 2007 and Dr. Mahalingam became its chancellor. At present, two sets of students are enrolled in the institute those who joined before 2007 and are still under CCS University and those who came in later to pursue MBBS, BDS and MDS. The institute charges anything between Rs. 200,000 and Rs. 450,000 from medical students per year. But the high fees may not ensure best facilities, complained a first-year student, adding: We have labs and a proper curriculum but often the senior students drop in to teach if the teachers dont turn up.

However, vice-chancellor Professor V K Arora said: We try and give some teaching experience to PG students. We have nearly 200 teachers in the university. We have not received any information from the government. We will see if our infrastructure was found wanting by the government. But the MCI and the Dental Council of India had no complaints so far. However, the MCI said: We have no business to inspect the infrastructure of a deemed university. Its the role of UGC.

The students at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology (JIIT) in Noida, however, put up a brave face even though the authorities almost went into hiding. The students said that their institute had the best infrastructure and was on par with NITs. The security guards at JIIT told Times City that the no official was willing to talk. But the students while dispersing for the day said: There was some flutter at the hostel last night when we heard about the de-recognition . But the authorities showed us a UGC letter issued earlier that mentioned the extension of our deemed university status. Another student, Anant Nath Hira, from first-year, B.Tech., said: Its one of the best institutes in the area. Some of the top rankers from AIEEE join here. The infrastructure and teachers are also perfect. Students also said that the fees was nominal considering it was a private institute. We pay Rs. 160,000 per year including the hostel fees. And we have seen 100% placement in the last few years, a third-year student hoped.

Source: The Times of India, January 20, 2010.

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