BANGALORE: In a scathing attack on the corruption prevalent in the upper echelons of the higher education system, Prof E Balaguruswamy, Union Public Service Commission member and former vice-chancellor of the Anna University, said on Friday that nearly half of all vice-chancellors are from a criminal background. âFor instance, I know of a vice-chancellor, who completed his tenure recently, buying three colleges - one each for every year he worked. You can imagine where he got the money from, he said.
The professor was speaking at a session on leadership in educational institutions at the national summit on quality in education, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here. The professor also blamed the Delhi briefcase" culture for the continuing corruption in universities. He recalled an instance when he had cancelled the affiliation of an engineering college as it did not have electricity on its premises, while he was vice-chancellor at Anna University.
The college was running courses like electronics & communication and electrical engineering, yet it did not have electricity. However, the college got its affiliation restored by AICTE from New Delhi, he said. He also knew of a university, whose name he did not mention, putting up the members of a committee for disbursal of funds under the XI plan, at a five-star beach resort. To tackle the menace of corruption, Balaguruswamy called upon the Union Government to reform the appointment process for vice-chancellors across all universities.
The selection committee should chose from a centrally-maintained databank of eligible candidates for the post of vice-chancellor. These days, the criteria for eligibility are caste, religion and money, he added. The professor also pointed out that the National Knowledge Commission had laid down guidelines for regulating the appointment of vice-chancellors. On the expansion of the higher education system, he noted that last year alone 1200 engineering colleges were given approval by AICTE. But where are the teachers for all these colleges? The current requirement of engineering teachers is around 1.6 lakh, but there are only 50,000 teachers available. And many of them have not even done their masters or doctorates, he added.
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