Born two years ago, Davangere varsity continues to be sick

Born two years ago, Davangere varsity continues to be sick

To be inaugurated today, university yet to get full-fledged faculty

Too late? A frontal view of Davangere University building on Shivagangotri campus in  Davangere. DH PhotoBut basic facilities on the campus, adequate teaching and non-teaching staff, a hostel for students, playground and a well-equipped library still remain a distant dream.

University sources told Deccan Herald that the vice chancellor had already sent a proposal seeking appointment of teaching staff for more than 15 postgraduate departments, and improving physical, central and supporting infrastructure on the Shivagangotri and Jnanagangotri campuses.

According to the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms, each department requires about six faculties, besides non-teaching staff, laboratory technicians and others.

 However, the varsity is handling all the 20 departments with limited faculty members, conduct classes, examinations and evaluation work for 50,000 students studying in 110 affiliated colleges and 20 postgraduate departments.

Background

Based on the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission and the State Knowledge Commission, then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa announced the creation of Davangere University — bifurcated from Kuvempu varsity in Shimoga two years ago on August 11, 2009 —with the main objective of promoting higher education in the region.

The university will help lakhs of students in the backward central Karnataka region- Chitradurga, Bellary and Haveri districts- where the percentage of higher education is very low.  Colleges of Davangere and Chitradurga will come under the varsity.

Vice-chancellor Indumati, wife of former vice chancellor  University of Mysore and noted economist M Madaiah, was appointed special officer of Davangere university. The student strength, which was 15,000 initially, now stands at around 50,000.

Lack of power connection

The university campus, which was established near Tolahunase on the outskirts (seven km from Davangere city) began its operations without urban power connectivity in the initial days.

Prof Indumati started 19 postgraduate courses like language (Kannada, English), social sciences courses (history, political science, economics, sociology, masters in social works, masters in education), science courses (physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, food technology), business courses (masters in commerce, masters in financial management and applied arts).

As much as 81 acres were purchased for the establishment of Jnanagangotri campus in Chitradurga and 79 acres in Davangere after Indumati assumed charge as vice chancellor.

Keeping in view the fast pace of development, the University Grants Commission awarded the 12 (B) status to the varsity in 2010 enabling it to get Central funds.

Corruption free

Prof Indumati told Deccan Herald: “I am satisfied with the work I have done in the last two years. I am proud to say the varsity is corruption-free. Davangere university is the first to adopt e-procurement platform to purchase equipment needed for the varsity with an intention to maintain transparency and bring in accountability in the administration,” she said.

However, she said, there were some “unrealised dreams” in the form of improving physical infrastructure such as extension of classrooms, a library, hostel facilities for boys and girls on the campus, central infrastructure facilities like photocopying, canteen, supporting infrastructure like bank, post office, a police outpost, a daycare centre, hospital and quarters for teaching and non-teaching staff.

Tie-up with foreign varsities

Indumati said the university had decided to revise the syllabus for postgraduate and undergraduate courses to give importance to infrastructure development, undertake student support programmes, donation collection for endowment prizes, stress on financial resource mobilisation, skill development programmes for students to improve personality and English communication skills to equip them to face competition and take up research projects.

The varsity also plans to collaborate with neighbouring universities in research and development applications. It will also tie up with at least four foreign universities to encourage student exchange programmes and research applications, she said.

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