Follow norms or face action, panel tells fine arts colleges in Maharashtra
Following complaints about lack of facilities and malpractices at fine arts colleges in Maharashtra, the Directorate of Art (DoA) issued a circular to around 200 fine arts colleges asking them to comply with the norms within three months.
The directorate has decided to form a committee of teachers to inspect the colleges during this period. After the committee submits its findings, the DoA will take action against errant colleges.
“The complaints received by DoA reveal that some private colleges don’t have basic facilities and sufficient teachers in the college. Besides, some colleges are engaged in drawing extra fees from students without issuing receipts, not appointing full-time and qualified teachers, mistreating students and not implementing government scheme. The private colleges under DoA are instructed to provide all the basic and teaching amenities within three months. If, at the end of the inspection, a college is found to be without these amenities or engaged in any malpractice, strict action will be taken,” read the circular.
The development comes a year after the state’s Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), which controls technical institutes in the state, conducted its own inspection of engineering colleges of the state, following numerous complaints of norms violation. The DTE found that 340 of around 375 engineering colleges had flouted infrastructure and faculty norms. As a result, seven of these colleges were prohibited from conducting admissions, while many others had their intake reduced significantly.
An official from DoA said that while the degree-college section of the institutes are monitored by the universities they are affiliated to, the diploma section often gets neglected. “Things were neglected, but now we are straightening them up. People have been relaxed in the past. But why should the students bear the brunt [of the administrative complacency]?,” he said.
The activists, who filed the complaints, also suggested the courses such as art-teacher diploma (ATD), which trains students in teaching fine arts in schools, have been neglected by the authorities, allowing colleges to run amok. “The colleges often cause trouble for students. They don’t have common rooms and workshop rooms. There is no student grievance redressal mechanism at the regional centres of DoA. The unaided colleges are doing whatever they want,” said Santosh Gangurde, vice-president, Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena.
Rajiv Mishra, incharge director, DoA, said that the colleges have been given a chance to redeem themselves. “Our intention is not to trouble anybody. We just want to clean things up and raise the standard of fine arts education,” he said.