In Bihar, there is a wind of change sweeping across higher education these days. Reason: The pro-active role of the Chancellor's office.
Ever since he took over last year, Chancellor-cum-Governor of Bihar RS Gavai singled out revamp of higher education as his main priority.
Nine months on, there are many firsts to his credit. The Chancellor's office has made it compulsory for teachers to stay on campus for a minimum of five hours and banned private tuition.
He has taken disciplinary action against the errant teachers, something unheard of earlier. For the first time, a team from Raj Bhawan has so far inspected over 120 colleges in different parts of the state to improve the scenario.
Like schools, colleges are organising parent teachers' meet to improve attendance. The Chancellor office has made it clear that those having less than 75 per cent attendance should not be allowed to take examinations at any cost. To streamline the derailed academic session, there is deadline of July for the universities to set things right. For the first time, all the VCs in Bihar were selected after their interview with the Chancellor.
In an exclusive interview with HT, Gavai said that he would not tolerate if teachers shied away from their duty. "Teachers' primary job is to teach. That is what they are paid for and that is what I want from them. They cannot remain on unauthorised leave and still draw salary. I have asked all the vice chancellors to enforce campus discipline," he added.
Gavai said that he would not hesitate to take action against "habitually truant" teachers. "Majority of the teachers and students are happy. There are a few, however, who are finding the changes difficult to digest. But they will have to fall in line. They cannot enjoy life like they did earlier at the cost of students," he added.
The Chancellor said that he had already initiated a number of measures. "I, as a Governor, have involved myself and accepted the challenge to set higher education right. I take actions accordingly. I am doing it with my heart. Whatever I am doing is within my rights as the Chancellor," he added.
Gavai said that efforts were already on to streamline the academic session. "There will be a uniform academic calendar and holiday calendar in all the universities. I have asked my OSD (Education) Krishna Kumar to work out a detailed plan to revive inter-university sports and culture meets in the state," he added.