Former vice chancellors flay move to split B'lore varsity

'New varsities will struggle without proper funding, infrastructure'

Former vice chancellors flay move to split B'lore varsity

Former vice-chancellors of various universities on Monday flayed the State government for having gone ahead with the decision for trifurcation of Bangalore University without consulting academicians. 

Splitting a university in itself is not a solution to administrative problems. They warned the government that the administration was unlikely to improve if sufficient funding was not provided to the new universities. 

Speaking at a workshop on trifurcation of Bangalore University organised by the Forum for Former Vice-Chancellors of Universities of Karnataka here on Monday, O Anantha Murthy, first V-C of Tumkur University recalled how politics posed a hurdle to administrative matters, during the initial years of the Tumkur University. 

“Nearly two years were spent deciding on the name of the university. Officially laying the foundation stone itself took a long time,” he said, pointing out that carving out new universities was not good enough without adequate financing and infrastructure. Getting land for varsities is very difficult. There are several universities that are still functioning without land of their own. This is one of the primary concerns which the government must address, he said. 

The treatment for a problem should not be worse than the disease itself, opined N Prabhu Dev, former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University. Suggesting alternative measures to retain BU as a whole, he observed that instead of splitting the university, the administrative responsibilities could be divided.

For instance, as opposed to a single registrar each for administration and evaluation as at present, the university could have three registrars each for administration and evaluation, with each taking care of a certain set of colleges. They could still report to a single vice-chancellor. Another possible solution is to retain BU the way it is and start two new universities (instead of splitting the existing university), like they have done in case of Delhi University, he said.

‘Be proactive’ 

The forum for former-VCs has to be more proactive, said N S Rame Gowda, former V-C of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU). Instead of waiting for the government to invite their opinions, the forum should establish itself as a body to reckon with, he said. The forum members should proactively involve themselves in coming up with suggestions that the government bodies take note of.

Contradicting the other members, Gowda said he saw no negative consequences of splitting BU. With so many colleges affiliated to the university, half the time of the officials is spent on granting affiliation, approving Board of Studies and other tasks. If the number of colleges can be reduced from 600 to 200, administration will definitely improve, he said. 

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