Six months on, Chancellor-cum-Governor RS Gavai is 'by and large' happy with the strides higher education has taken in the State. But he admits there is a long journey ahead to bring the system 'back on track'.
"It is known to all what was the state of higher education in the State before my arrival and what it is today. The 15-year stagnation cannot be overcome in six months, but we have made a right beginning. Wait for some time. A number of changes are in the offing," said Gavai, in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
Gavai said a lot of effort was needed to pull Bihar out of the rut. "Now there is an IIT coming. There are also plans for IIIT, engineering colleges and medical institutions. But everything cannot be done in one go. First, we have to prepare the foundation, which will require certain legislations. They are in the process of being finalised," he added.
Maintaining that he had feedback of 'positive change', Gavai said that even those teachers who had 'forgotten attending colleges' were now regular.
"I am hopeful that by July the academic sessions in all the universities will be regularised. I have also asked for rationalisation of teacher-pupil ratio in colleges and stopped intra and inter-university transfers," he added.
Emphasising the need for greater financial discipline, Gavai said that accountability would now be fixed down the line for every action.
"Chalta hai syndrome will not do. University cannot withhold salary payment for ten days. And above all, they have to learn to make use of so many grants available from UGC and other sources. My OSD Krishna Kumar has done a lot of work in this field," he added.
Hinting at exam reforms, Gavai endorsed the suspension of MU officers. “If exams have to be conducted, their sanctity has to be maintained. Such actions are deterrents. I don’t want to punish, but at the same time cannot overlook the habitual offenders,” he said, adding a new software would soon be made available to all the universities for uniformity in the exam system.
The Chancellor said that he was “by and large” happy with the performance of the VCs, but he also had a word of advice for them. "Don’t go overboard. Don’t be unnecessarily harsh. Work in a democratic manner to develop a congenial atmosphere," he said, adding that PU VC YC Simhadri had done the 'right thing' by withdrawing the contentious circular.
Email Arun Kumar: arunkr @hindustantimes.com