If by a quirk of fate, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were from Kerala, they would not have had to look hard for reasons to quit campus, which they did before going on to redefine success. For, the universities in the State would have given those entrepreneurial minds enough reasons to quit.
The way the universities have treated the Student Entrepreneurship Scheme, a flagship programme of the State government touted as a model for the entire country in promoting young entrepreneurs, presents a classic case of their indifference.
Hardly a year after the rollout of the scheme, the government had to intervene and suggest a three-step process to ensure smooth access of its benefits to students. This was necessitated by the universities’ failure to incorporate the scheme into their statute.
However, even the interim suggestion may also appear cumbersome to a generation plying their trade at the click of a mouse.
In an order issued on September 9, 2013, the Higher Education Department asked the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to forward the certificate proving the eligibility for grace marks and relaxation in attendance of student entrepreneur to the principal of the college concerned.
The principal is supposed to forward it to the registrar of the university concerned with due recommendations, on receipt of which the university shall provide the eligible grace marks and attendance to the student entrepreneur for the semester for which it is applicable.
Universities are supposed to follow the process till the scheme is incorporated into their statute.
Meanwhile, the National Institute of technology TBI (TBI-NITC) at Kozhikode, which is yet to introduce the student entrepreneurship scheme despite receiving inquiries, is about to draft relevant policy framework to adopt it very shortly.
TBI-NITC sources told The Hindu that being a Centrally-funded institution didn’t stop it from inducting the scheme and performing its role akin to a nodal agency for colleges in the region in connection with the scheme.
P.H. Kurian, Principal Information Technology Secretary, confirmed that the rollout of the scheme in TBI-NITC remained a sole prerogative of that institution.