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Outgoing VC denounces politicisation of academia

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Staff Reporter

Over-politicisation of education is the biggest problem in the State: Hasnain

TENHIPALAM: Calicut University Vice-Chancellor Syed Iqbal Hasnain, who relinquished office on Friday after a four-year tenure, decried politicisation of education management in the State. Addressing a news conference at his camp office on the university campus, Prof. Hasnain said that over-politicisation of education was the biggest problem the State faced today.

He said higher education was highly compromised in Kerala, where basic education was being given so much of importance. Political parties should stop posting their agents in decision-making bodies such as the Senate, the Syndicate and the Academic Council. Instead, political groups should sit together and chalk out a formula to save the higher education system in the State.

He lamented that vice-chancellors were often sucked into unnecessary controversies that they had nothing to do with. Vice-chancellors find little time to concentrate on academic matters because of political pressures over administrative affairs, he said.

Prof. Hasnain, who is to join the Policy Research Centre, an academic think-tank in Delhi, exhorted both the United and Left Democratic Fronts to prioritise their agenda so as to restore the academic autonomy in the State. "The employability of our students today is much less than that of students from other States," he said.

Prof. Hasnain said he could not introduce credit system at the university though he wanted to. "Four years are not enough for a vice-chancellor to complete his works. The works have to be carried on," he said.

He said Calicut University was a good candidate to be considered for making it a university of excellence.

He said his focus in the last four years was largely on revamping the examination system.

Prof. Hasnain said the introduction of headship rotation, Frontier Lecture series and holograms in certificates; decentralisation of purchase committees; reforms in research programmes; reconstitution of boards of studies, and initiatives to give freedom, empowerment and self-esteem to the faculty had gone a long way in heralding an academic-friendly ambience to the university campus.

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