The Madhya Pradesh government’s recent shifting of 136 colleges’ affiliation from its central university to an under-staffed state varsity has made students, colleges and educationists feel “cheated”.
So far, all these colleges had been affiliated to Dr Hari Singh Gour University. However, on July 27, the state government attached the colleges to a newly set up Chhatrasal university, which has 10 staff members and is being run in a 10-room set up in Chhatarpur.
The government officials said the decision to make the switch was taken after the Gour university was upgraded as a central university in 2009 and technically it couldn’t carry on state colleges’ affiliations.
However, students, college administration, educationists, politicians and leaders of the ruling party from Bundelkhand said that the move had “downgraded” the colleges’ status in a way by attaching them to a state university. This would affect students’ career in a big way, they said.
But, Chhatrasal university registrar Parikshit Singh said the university had enough staff and that 42 colleges had “already submitted their affiliation forms with us.”
Minister of state for higher education minister Deepak Joshi too defended the decision and said the step was taken for the benefit of the students. But, the issue could be discussed and a decision could be taken accordingly if the students were not happy with it, he said.
However, students and educationists feel otherwise.
Educationist Suresh Acharya asked why the higher education department took the step when the ministry of human resources department (MHRD) and Vidhya Parishad had no problems with the affiliations to the Gour university. The decision was looking politically motivated as it had fully ignored the students’ viewpoint.
A student of bachelor of arts (BA), Sneha Jain from Panna, dubbed the step “cheating with the students” and said, “If the state government wanted to change the affiliation, then it should have taken the decision before the counselling and admission process. Now, we don’t have any option but to continue our studies. This change has put a big question mark on my future.”
Another student Shubham Tiwari from Sagar said that nobody knew about the status of the Chhatrasal university, “so if we continue our study, we don’t have any future as nobody will provide us jobs.”
A private college owner Avinash Deolia said that the government should have taken views of experts before taking the decision. “The decision will affect the students the most,” he said.
Transport minister Bhupendra Singh, who comes from the Bundelkhand region, said, “We are in talks with the state government to allow the colleges to choose the university as per their will.”
One of Aam Admi Party’s (AAP) conveners Dharnendra Jain termed it as an “illogical decision” and held a demonstration with his party members against the move. He threatened to observe a satyagrah if the state government didn’t roll back the decision.