UGC’s new guidelines making it mandatory on colleges to declare the details about fees, faculty and infrastructure among other things, is a welcome step, says Dr. G. Ramachandram.
The UGC`s new regulation making it mandatory on colleges to publish the details of fee structure, deposits, infrastructure, qualifications and experience of teachers is a positive step to ensure transparency in the functioning of educational institutions.
Most of the colleges do not provide comprehensive prospectus to students, concealing more than what they disclose. Colleges should publish regularly, before the end of every academic year, an updated comprehensive prospectus, giving details of the courses offered, fee structure, rules and the ordinances governing the admissions and the examinations to be distributed along with the admission forms.
It is surprising that Mumbai colleges collect fees towards magazine, as a part of fee structure permitted by the university, but not many colleges publish the magazine. And those who publish it do so either in the middle of the academic year or once in few years, defeating the very purpose behind it.
A college magazine is a record of activities and events for posterity. A good magazine goes a long way in projecting and creating a positive image of the institution.
Similarly, the so called reputed colleges in the city do not have a good record of checking mass absenteeism of students and of enforcing the rules regarding the attendance in the class rooms. Their class rooms are deserted making the teachers redundant and students even more dependent on coaching classes.
The NAAC should make it a precondition for colleges to publish magazine and comprehensive prospectus regularly every year, and also to ensure satisfactory attendance of students in the class rooms. It is an established fact that colleges resort to ‘window dressing’ just before the visits of the NAAC peer teams.
As a result the accreditation and the grading exercise becomes a farce as it doesn`t give the true picture of the institution. This is one of the reasons why the NAAC’s credibility has suffered.
The Section 90 of Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, makes it mandatory on the part of universities to inspect affiliated at least once in three years so as to ensure high academic and administrative standards. But Mumbai University doesn`t adhere to this norm.
The permanently affiliated colleges are never inspected. Consequently, once granted permanent affiliation, colleges flout the basic conditions and compromise on infrastructure and quality of teaching. There is no effective supervision and control over the working of affiliated colleges.
The author is retired Principal, Kandivali Education Society’s College