Himachal Pradesh University's (HPU) regional centre at Dharamsala got its own building about 15 years after its establishment. The new building was inaugurated by chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday.
Vice- chancellor Arun Diwakar Nath Bajpai rolled out an ambitious plan for the expansion the centre on the occasion.
Bajpai said HPU was trying to take possession of the new building since long, but the process was delayed due to some financial crisis.
“Now, as the building has been handed over to the university, we are contemplating to start new study programmes, particularly professional courses on the regional campus,” said Bajpai.
At present, the regional campus runs 11 study programmes, including three-year law course and PG programme in journalism and mass communication.
“We will be starting BTech course of University Institute of Information Technology (UIIT), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Computer Applications (MCA) and five-year law course here,” he said, adding that the bachelor's degree in Journalism and mass communication will also be started.
Saying that the centre will be shifted to the new building in three months, Bajpai said the university would make all-out efforts to provide best possible facilities at the regional centre, including a bus service, to ferry students from Dharamsala town to the new campus.
Bajpai added that the university has also mooted to start two more regional campuses of the university in Mandi and Una districts.
“If the plan materialises, a combine entrance test will be conducted for the admission in all the regional units,” asserted Bajpai.
When asked whether it will be possible to run two more campuses when the regional centre is running short of staff, Bajpai said the university's recruitment cell had been continuously working on appointment of regular faculty.
“However, the recruitment process is lengthy and most of the time gets stuck in legal complications. It leaves the university with two options either not to start new programmes or recruit guest faculty,” said Bajpai, adding that the win-win situation was to go with the second option for the benefit of students.
Admitting that the university is facing financial crisis, Bajpai said the authorities were considering reforming the fee structure and internal resource mobilisation to overcome the problem.
Commenting on widespread agitations by students against the newly implemented semester system and choice-based credit system under the Rashtriya Uchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Bajpai said all apprehensions about the viability of this system were baseless and it was implemented only after taking into account the requirement of faculty and infrastructure in colleges.
He said the university had also implemented a students' charter and teacher evaluation system for the first time to make the university academically vibrant.
Bajpai said the examination and evaluation system would be streamlined by computerisation. He also assured to inquire into backdoor admissions into PhD programmes in some of the departments of HPU.
Bajpai was accompanied by dean of studies Prof Suresh Kumar, registrar Mohan Jharta, CoE Narender Avasthi, founder director of regional centre Sunil Deshta and faculty of the centre.