Varsity cites financial losses as reason for the decision

Students of Bangalore University (BU) will have to board the regular Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses from the next academic year. The university’s Syndicate, at its meeting on Monday, decided to stop providing students with the transport facility from the coming academic year citing financial losses. BU has a contract arrangement with the BMTC to provide bus facilities to students.

Calling it an “under-utilised service”, BU Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda, during a press conference after the Syndicate meeting, said the university would save over Rs. 1 crore every year once the transport facility was withdrawn. “We are spending around Rs. 97 lakh on providing buses on 18 routes. But we collect less than Rs. 10 lakh,” he claimed.

However, for the present academic year, the varsity will continue the service, albeit on fewer routes. Prof. Gowda said routes with fewer passengers would be ‘combined’.

“There are many buses that go to Mysore Road or Ganesh Temple (near the university quarters) frequently from most parts of the city. We will provide feeder services (BU buses) from these points to the university,” Prof. Gowda added.

BU has already written to the Transport as well as Higher Education Ministers informing them of the same, the VC said.

However, it may not be an easy task to convince the students. Student organisations are already gearing up for a battle. Hulli Umesh, State secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), termed this ‘profit-oriented thinking’ and said the university administration should drop the plan. “Several students are benefitting from this service. If the decision is not reversed, we will launch an agitation,” he added.

B.Ed. affiliation

The Syndicate also decided to renew the affiliation of only five of the 10 B.Ed colleges recommended by the Academic Council. Prof. Gowda said the decision sent a tough message to both the colleges as well as the Local Inquiry Committees (LICs): “The colleges will have to maintain quality and infrastructure if they want to retain affiliation. The LICs should also remember that whatever they recommend will not be accepted if quality and objectivity are not reflected in the inspection reports.” He said it was not permanent disaffiliation for the remaining colleges as they could apply for fresh affiliation the next academic year after overcoming their shortcomings.

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