Mahatma Gandhi University’s decision to give sanction to 79 centres raises questions of accountability

With the Lokayukta dismissing a complaint against commencing newly-sanctioned off-campus centres, the Mahatma Gandhi University seems to have cleared most of the hurdles in this regard.

However, apprehensions continue to remain over various aspects of the move.

The complaint that was filed by Sreenivasan Venugopal, State Secretary, AIADMK, had claimed that the decision to sanction the centres could lead to corruption and maladministration on the part of the University authorities. The Lokayukta court, in its verdict on May 15, said the sanctioning of the new centres was intended to ensure better outreach ‘by providing convenient values for classroom teaching, practical training and examinations’. It also ruled that the allegations of the complainant could not be substantiated in the absence of evidence.

‘MoUs signed’

With the addition of the newly-sanctioned 79 off-campus centres, the number of such institutions functioning under the varsity will go up to 150. According to official sources, the varsity has already entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with around 30 new centres.

Though the revenue from these centres would be beneficial for the cash-strapped varsity, many employees pointed out that providing the go-ahead to such centres in haste could backfire.

According to Senate member K. Sherafudeen, the number of colleges affiliated to the University has increased from 105 to 291 during the previous 15 years. Since the University staff are taking care of most of the activities concerning the students of the off-campus centres, right from their

registration to preparation of question papers and evaluation of answer scripts, it would be fair to regard each centre as a college as far the workload of the varsity staff is concerned. While the workload has increased manifold owing to various reasons, only 36 posts were created specifically for the implementation of the choice-based credit and semester system (CBCSS) in undergraduate programmes.

Compared to the University of Kerala, which has 236 affiliating colleges, Mahatma Gandhi University has far lesser number of staff in the entry and supervisory levels.

Moreover, the State government is yet to provide concurrence for a proposal to create nearly 10 additional posts expected to be essential for the efficient implementation of the centralised allotment process for UG and PG programmes.

  • Lokayukta dismisses complaint against commencing centres

  • Employees say staff shortage is a serious issue at the Varsity