New universities: Study at your own risk
Solan: While opposition parties in Himachal have been trying to corner the government on opening of several new universities in the state within a short span of time, the questions they have raised may not be totally politically motivated. Recently, a Left-wing party had alleged that various degrees, including PhDs in different streams, are on sale in Himachal and that some of the newly-opened universities are offering courses without having pre-requisite statuary permissions from the respective apex regulatory bodies. On the other hand,our investigation found out that universities are luring students in the name of world-class infrastructure and faculty, which is not yet ready, whereas officials admitted that actual infrastructure would depend on student response in each course being offered.
CPI(M) state member secretary Tikender Panwar on Thursday had alleged that Manav Bharti University, being set up in Solan, is not only violating various rules but is also involved in cheating and fraudulent practices. He said that the university has variety of courses in different streams including MPharma, DPharma, and BPharma in Pharmacology, MBA & PGDMM in management, MPT and BPT in physiotherapy, MCA and BCA in computer applications, MTech and BTech in engineering stream, diploma in veterinary sciences, fire & safety courses and courses in microbiology. He had alleged that the university does not have reorganization from UGC, AICTE, Nursing Council, etc, and that the faculty is under-qualified and even not available for many courses. He said that names of the faculty appearing on the universities prospectus have never been in the university since its inception.
Tikender further alleged that the university that requires dozens of laboratories and has even conducted an examination for one semester has none in the campus. In his letter to the Chief Minister, Tikender alleged that there are more than 200 Phd enrollments in the university but there is only one Phd in the entire university. He further pointed out that there is a total strength of 52 students in MPhamacy, however, only 22 attend the course regularly and the rest have paid heavily to the management and are working either in pharmaceutical companies in Haryana, Punjab or elsewhere.
When contacted, the director of the university, SP Bhardwaj, told HimVani that all allegation in the letter addressed to the CM are baseless and motivated to dictate terms for vested interests. Bhardwaj informed that Manav Bharti is dully approved by the HP government and UGC as well. Bhardwaj also claimed that a full-fledged university does not require separate permission for AICTE. He said that university is in its initial stage and the process of recruiting faculty is still on. He strongly denied the charges of having fake names of faculty on the prospectus, though he admitted that some people have left the university. He added that the university will have all required faculty well before starting the courses. He informed that university has well stocked modern pharma and computer labs and also refuted Panwar’s allegation of having made 200 admissions in PHD. Bhardwaj claimed that some people left the institution in the past and are now misleading facts to satisfy their egos.
Bhardwaj said that they are determined to build a world-class educational institution and are making every effort to create all required institutional and non-institutional facilities for the benefit of students.