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‘Visva-Bharati lagging in research work, quality assessment’

Visva-Bharati. Photo: visvabharati.ac.in  

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) team visiting Visva-Bharati for evaluating the quality of its education is said to be unhappy with several things at the Rabindranath Tagore-founded university, finding it lagging in research work and quality assessment.

The NAAC assesses and accredits higher education institutions every five years. During the previous assessment, in 2015, the Santiniketan-based Visva-Bharati had scored 2.82 on the four-point scale, thus missing an ‘A’ by 0.18 points. A good score is important for an institution to get projects and grants.

“To begin with, the team was irritated that hardly 30-35 teachers were present during its scheduled interaction with faculty members yesterday [Thursday] evening,” a senior faculty member present at the meeting told The Hindu on Friday. “This, when the university has nearly 500 teachers. When the reason for the poor attendance was attributed to the pandemic, the team pointed out that the hall was big enough to accommodate far more people.”

“The team seemed to be armed with data and wanted to know why we were lagging in terms of research work. ‘Such an old and prestigious university and so little research of late’ — that’s what they basically said,” the faculty member said.

The NAAC team, according to several teachers familiar with the situation, was particularly unhappy with the performance of the university’s Internal Quality Assessment Committee (IQAC). “The team was of the opinion that the IQAC was simply not doing enough when it should be playing an important role in the development of academic activities. It pointed out that the IQAC should meet once in a fortnight but in Visva-Bharati it was meeting once in a year,” said another senior teacher who interacted with the team.

The University PRO did not respond to calls for comment on the team’s visit and observations.

Though every Vice-Chancellor has had his or her share of detractors on the campus, the tenure of current V-C, Prof. Bidyut Chakrabarty, has hardly had a trouble-free moment ever since he took charge in November, 2018. Till date, with him at the helm, nearly 300 teaching and non-teaching staff have either been terminated, suspended, demoted, transferred or issued chargesheets and show-cause notices. No member of the staff, other than the PRO, is allowed to speak to the media.

“Our preparedness would have been a lot better had we been informed about the team’s visit well in advance. The visit began on November 23 and we were officially told about it only on November 16. It seems the authorities wanted the whole matter to be hush-hush so that all that is going on in the university — the constant suspensions and show-cause notices — would not reach the NAAC,” a professor told The Hindu.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 8:48:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/visva-bharati-lagging-in-research-work-quality-assessment/article37702092.ece

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