BJP seeks Governor’s help to ‘rectify’ state of higher education

BJP leaders with Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on Tuesday.  

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday brought to the notice of Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan the ‘deteriorating’ higher education sector in Telangana due to the ‘negligence’ and ‘inaction’ of the TRS government and called for her intervention to ‘rectify’ the situation.

Party leaders, including P. Muralidhar Rao, K. Laxman, N. Ramchander Rao and Manohar Reddy, met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum explaining about the current state of affairs in the universities beset with “inordinate delay in appointing vice-chancellors, shortage of teachers, crumbling infrastructure and lack of funds”.

Students had played a key role in attaining TS with the hope of betterment in various aspects but their hopes are doused by the government, and hence, Ms. Soundararajan’s intervention will go a long way in helping the first generation students belonging to rural and downtrodden sections of the society who cannot afford private education, they told her.

Except two universities, all the others are without VCs for more than 18 months. IAS officers appointed as in-charge VCs have no time and registrars have been taking decisions to please the pressure groups, resulting in further fall in academic standards, they said.

The Commissioner of Higher Education has been calling the shots in the absence of VCs, a ‘weak council of higher education’ and a ‘reluctant principal secretary’. It took five years for the government to reconstitute executive councils and it filled them with student leaders of the ruling party and none with proven eminence in any field of specialisation.

“It is a shame that not even a single recruitment has taken place in the higher education system after TS formation with hundreds of vacant teaching positions at various levels. For example, Osmania University’s psychology department has just two assistant professors, one is head and the other is chairman of board of studies. It is no better with other universities,” the memorandum said.

Differential salaries to contract lecturers teaching regular courses and self-financing courses is “highly discriminatory and need to be withdrawn immediately” as those teaching the latter are getting about 75% less than contract teachers recruited in regular vacancies. Vacancies in non-teaching staff galore with OU having 1,700 whereas sanctioned strength is 7,000! About 70% of sanctioned teaching strength of degree colleges is vacant with student-teacher ratio of 1:80 as against UGC norm of 1:20. Same goes with junior colleges when there are “hundreds of well qualified PGs waiting for employment notifications”.

Block grants are not sufficient even to pay salaries, hostels are in a miserable state and there are no funds for maintenance of buildings. Even the iconic OU Arts College building is leaking and the roof is in a dilapidated condition for want of maintenance. Fee reimbursement amount too has got stagnated at ₹35,000 for BC and OC students if their rank is below 10,000 and those above 10,000 are not able to join higher education courses because of differential amount of about ₹50,000 per annum, the memorandum added.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 8:44:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bjp-seeks-governors-help-to-rectify-state-of-higher-education/article33561867.ece

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