Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sathyabama, SRM


Rashmi and Badri (in Tamil) have covered the background. DreamChaser, and Shravan are following up on all the events subsequent to the AICTE action. Pareshaan and Madhu give their insiders' views -- from the outside, since they have already graduated.

Let's start with some facts:

First, AICTE swoops down on institutions offering programs in engineering, issuing them a notice demanding that they get its approval by March 7, or else. The students panic, go to their respective college or university administrations, and seek a clarification about meaning of this AICTE notice. When they don't get a straight answer -- or worse, when they do get one, with all its nasty implications -- they organize protests, some of which lead to violence. Things get pretty rough, particularly at Sathyabama and SRM (both deemed universities).

Right now, there is a lull on the streets, and the tussle between AICTE and the colleges/universities is being fought in the courts. Both the parties are are plotting their next legal moves. The colleges are set to reopen soon.

In the meantime, a student of Satyabama is reported to have commiteed suicide.

Some observations:

  • Several people have already commented on the timing of AICTE notices. From Badri's post, it appears that the institutions were issued these notices a long time ago, but the notices were stayed by a court, and the stay order was revoked sometime in October of 2005. So, this issue has been simmering for a while, and appears to have reached a flash point only now. It's not clear if AICTE did anything to make it flare up last month, but I don't see anything untoward in AICTE's actions; being a bureaucracy, it's (probably) just following routine procedures.
  • I don't think there is any dispute about how, after they obtained the 'deemed university' status, these institutions expanded their intake of students by as much as 5 times and introduced new programs. Their case that their status as Deemed Universities gives them these rights -- and that they are not fettered by other regulatory authorities such as AICTE -- is utterly laughable. From a legal viewpoint, AICTE is on a strong wicket; except, of course, that the legal process may yet be subverted.
  • If AICTE does prevail, the institutions and their managers must be given strong, exemplary punishments. However, their students -- victims, really -- must be allowed to transfer to other institutions. Both are unlikely.
  • I expect the market for engineering programs is not going to be a sellers' one next year.
  • Finally, the highly deplorable role of UGC -- the organization that granted these less-than-stellar institutions the status of a Deemed University -- must come under harsh scrutiny. I don't know who will do it, but I certainly don't see our mainstream media doing it. Sigh!

7 Comments:

  1. shravan said...

    Jammag maybe?

  2. Abi said...

    Jammag is a possibility; however, it's Mumbai-centric. Some other publication with an all-India footprint would be a better option.

    Outlook? Tehelka?

  3. Anonymous said...

    I am extremely distressed that self-financed colleges are unleashing rowdies against their own students, who have legitimate concerns. Top among them, our own Jeppiar !! What else can you expect from an ex-“Pettai rowdy”? Colleges in India stifle creativity and freedom of expression under the garb of “disciplining”. It is amazing how well our students do in the corporate world despite “education” in our colleges and universities…

    BTW, I studied in College of Engineering, Guindy (The great Anna university). I am always amazed at the reputation Anna has despite the majority of absolutely crappy & mediocre teachers they have out there...

  4. Anonymous said...

    am an ex-sathyabamite. There is absolutely no professionalism in enforcing anything. We can't blame the management as they are expressing in the language they are familiar with "Bully"! Once you get in you are stuck and you have to keep your mouth shut (as you are screwed if you are caught even complaining a little)keeping ur future and your parents' hopes in mind. What is happening is a revolution. I just wish and hope students will stick together and defend those who stood up against the tyrants!! finally! Coming days are going to be very hard and all I have to say to the present sathyabama students is "Be United. Remember those guys stood up on behalf of every one. Pls. wake up and realise JPR doesn't give a damn about you or your future. Engineering college is a money making business for him and nothing more than that. Stick together and dont let down the guys whose future is in question now. Be united and you can win". Thanks for reading.

  5. camelpost said...

    Although, legally speaking, no technical institution is outside the AICTE's purview, it is only by convention that the Council does not exercise its statutory powers on institutions such as IITs and IIMs. If Law is same for everyone, why are there exceptions? Now read the following and decide.

    As per latest news, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has been facing a severe shortage of faculty.

    Twenty-four departments in IIT-D are short-staffed. "There are 72 vacant positions for professors, associate professors, and assistant professors," according to Assistant Director(administration) DP Kothari.

  6. camelpost said...

    There is a Dhyaneswar Vidyapeeth in Pune going about awarding degrees and what has UGC or AICTE done about it. Today many universities and colleges are offering MSc Computer Science for which AICTE has no say. Are standards to be maintained only if its BE or BTech Computer Science and no need for standards if the degree is named MSc? Society is obsessed with talking of standards only in Technical and Medical Education. Does not Science Arts curriculum require Standards to be maintained. After all let people realize that Society does not run only with Engineers, doctors and Pharmacists and requires all fields of knowledge. Let us talk of standards in education and not confine to only technical education

  7. Anonymous said...

    This one goes for the college of engineering fellow..mate i guarantee u..at ne given day,even the unluckiest one,our third grade student can stupefy,petrify and sweep u of ur feet easily(AS FAR AS GREY MATTER IS CONCERNED)..and dont b a braggart...i dont see ne out of the world credentials of u "mugging" creatures...and as far as creativity and freedom is concerned ,i wish to tell u that it was ur very own great uncool college which followed moral policing to ban girls from wearing enticing outfits...is that what u call givin freedom...and as far as jeppiar is concerned he can buy and sell ur college at ne given day..and for ur sake don b distressed...u may end up having schizophrenic paranoidal disorders.....
    BTW ur college name shuld be changed to COLLEGE OF "MUGGING ENGINEER'S"...bcoz thats the only reputation it has got..