‘No where panel members are held responsible if their reports are found to be false and misleading’

The affiliation of colleges is being seen as a mere money spinner tactic for the universities, which are least interested in taking up the responsibility of ensuring minimum standards and delivery of quality education to the students.

The hue and cry raised over quality and infrastructure in engineering colleges leading to constitution of Task Force committees by the government is a direct result of the lenient attitude exercised by the concerned universities during the affiliation inspections.

The reports submitted to the universities by the inspection committees rarely recommend disaffiliation, and most times colleges are let-off with warnings to improve. But the scene repeats every year with no substantial action on the previous warnings.

If the colleges were extended affiliation continuously over the last few years, where is the need for inspections by the Task Force committees, is the question being raised. Either the universities were blindly giving affiliation or for other considerations, or the colleges were extremely good. But the initial reports of the Task Force committees point out several shortcomings in majority colleges.

Senior teachers say the affiliation inspection system is full of loopholes. Each university sends a committee consisting of a senior professor and two other subject experts to each college and their report is ratified by another committee university before affiliation is granted or renewed.

“But no where the committee members are held responsible if their reports are found to be false and misleading,” says a senior teacher. “Lack of accountability has made the inspections a farce,” says a senior JNTU faculty adding that universities are more interested in the affiliation fee of Rs. 10,000 per year.

The loopholes were exposed when the Governor, who is the Chancellor of State universities, recently suggested disaffiliating substandard colleges. Officials in the Education Department say that there are no proper guidelines and universities are not even referring the matter to the Executive Councils (EC) - the prime academic bodies. It was revealed in a recent meeting that the JNTU Hyderabad vested the affiliation powers with the Vice-Chancellor, which was found to be against norms. Similar was the case with some others.

Officials say V-Cs can be influenced by the higher authorities while taking a decision while it is difficult to influence the ECs where representation is large and diverse.

Teachers say it is time affiliation guidelines are reframed keeping in view the latest trends and interests of students.