THE GOVERNMENT decision to increase seats in undergraduate and post-graduate classes at all the State universities is causing concern in academic circles since the universities are ill equipped and lack basic infrastructure to maintain the UGC norms.
According to the UGC norms, the teacher-student ratio in post-graduate and undergraduate university classes should be 1:20 and 1:40, respectively. But, the ratio is an alarming 1:280 in almost all the State universities, thereby making it impossible to maintain high academic standards.
The increase in number of seats has vitiated the academic atmosphere, says Dr MP Singh, professor in the Geology Department, Lucknow University. He said that since attendance is not compulsory, hardly 50 per cent students attend classes. He added that this is a boon since the university will fall short of seats if students attend classes in full strength.
The Meerut University incident in which students of classes VI and VIII were evaluating BA, MA and professional course answer books was the result of unmanageable number of students. Further, proper evaluation of answer books because of pressure with regard to result declaration on time was impossible, observed vice-chancellor of a State university.
Dr Singh regretted that increase in number of seats even after admissions were over was nothing short of injustice to those students who were denied admission earlier due to low percentage. However, now students with even lower percentage were admitted, he said.
Interestingly, the teacher-student ratio at the Harvard University is 1:9 since its inception more than 100 years ago. Today, the number of teachers at the Harvard University is 2082 while that of students 18,000.