Bangalore University was in the limelight, and shadows too

Bangalore University was in the limelight, and shadows too

In May, the rift between vice-chancellor N Prabhu Dev and former registrars — M G Krishnan, Registrar (Administration) and M S Talawar, Registrar (Evaluation) — reached a high when the two officials were given the marching orders.

Accusing Krishnan and Talawar of resisting change and “deliberately” delaying clearance and implementation of his orders, Dev made them redundant by conferring their powers on the deputy registrars.

The sacked officers, on their part, contended that the V-C was scuttling their powers because they had questioned certain expenses and malpractices at the university.
Their removal was preceded by the setting up of a one-man committee headed by the retired judge of Allahabad High Court, I P Vashisht, in April.

Their removal not only ruffled many feathers, but also almost created a divide between Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and then Higher Education Minister Aravind Limbavali who was not consulted on the issue.

Further, there were allegations of caste overtones in the appointment of new registrars, R M Ranganath and T R Subramanya. On August 13, the V-C flexed his muscles against finance officer Wazeer Ahmad accusing him of non-cooperation, and removed him even before appointing a successor.

This apart, the university faced strikes by students of its PG Hostel II which divided the students. In December, the strike by the non-teaching staff paralysed the institution, but the crisis was resolved after talks.

But the BU was left stunned when 128 affiliated colleges did not admit even a single student and 28 others admitted less than 10. Little headway was made on the division of Bangalore University into smaller universities. While the V-C remained firm in opposing the move, Higher Education Minister V S Acharya clarified that the BU would be bifurcated and not trifurcated as decided earlier. 

Exam reforms
The BU introduced a couple of well-intended examination reforms such as replacing internal assessment marks with grades, restricting the number of answer scripts to 40 and allotting dummy numbers to answer sheets. The varsity also partnered with Bangalore One centres to accept applications for revaluation. Besides, it also decided to give a monthly scholarship of Rs 500 to all poor postgraduate students, and chose to provide meals at highly subsidised rates to all PG students.

Nod for pvt varsities
During the year, the State government also gave its nod for setting up private universities by passing the Azim Premji University Bill, 2010, and the Alliance University Bil,l amid strong criticism by the opposition political parties.

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