Rejected PU colleges lobby to get ok

Rejected PU colleges lobby to get ok

Political pressure

The department of pre-university education, which had cleared just 27 of the 425 applications for new colleges for the academic year 2019-20, is now inundated with fresh applications from 60 rejected colleges.

The then director of the department P C Jaffer had turned down 94% of the 425 applications saying they had not met norms. But soon after new director M Kanaga Valli took charge, 60 colleges which had been denied permission, resubmitted applications, apparently bringing in pressure from MLAs and MLCs, according to sources.

Though rejected colleges are allowed to resubmit their applications after meeting the norms, it is unlikely they would have rectified their shortcomings in such a short time.

Though department officials claim the fresh applications were considered after they submitted revised applications fulfilling all the conditions, sources from the same department say that most of these applications were entertained because of “pressure from above”.

“Several political leaders, including MLAs and MLCs personally came with these files. There is a lot of pressure from elected representatives when it comes to granting permission to the new colleges,” said an official source.

Meanwhile, sources mentioned that some of the applicants who had admitted students even before they get approval from the department were also considered in the second round. “Some applications were considered in the interest of students’ future,” added a source.

A majority of the applications were rejected as they lacked sufficient land and the infrastructure.

In fact, this year, the department was more stringent while granting permission since the issue had become a controversy during the 2018-19 academic year.  According to the new rules, colleges now need to have a minimum land requirement ranging from 1,000 square metres to 2,000 square meters in BBMP and corporation areas depending on which sections they open. Similarly, in other areas, the land requirements range between 2,000 square metres and 4,000 square metres. Besides this, colleges also need to obtain safety certificates. 

During the 2018-19 academic year, the state government had ordered a probe into sanctioning of PU colleges as there were allegations that new private pre-university colleges were given permission by the previous government though they had allegedly violated rules. The department had in fact rejected many of these applications, which were later approved at the government level. 

Director M Kanaga Valli was not available for comment despite repeated calls and messages.

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