Karnataka: Do not open new universities, fix all gaps first, say Ex-VCs | Bengaluru News – Times of India

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BENGALURU: The Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka has urged the state not to establish new universities in the state.
Saying Karnataka has over 65 varsities, the forum said the government should, instead, look at establishing PG centres or upgrading existing government colleges to autonomous colleges. It emphasised the need to liberate “many existing universities from academic as well as financial paralysis”.
Many new varsities in K’taka struggling to survive: Expert
The forum’s statement comes in the backdrop of reports that a university for organic agriculture and six private universities are being mooted. Karnataka has 32 state universities, 14 deemed-to-be universities, 17 state private universities, one open university and one central university.
“Almost all universities are suffering from a lack of adequate infrastructure, faculty and finances. Many of them have shrunk as mere ‘teaching shops’ as they are run by guest faculty. There is little or no research,” said the forum.
Many point out that the government does not have enough funds to support new varsities. “ We have only a couple of self-financing universities. Others are able to sustain themselves because most of them have only half of the required faculty,” said Dr R Chandrashekhara, former VC of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
MK Shridhar, academician, said, “Instead of strengthening existing institutions, it’s not wise to divide whatever little we have among more number of institutions. This is a similar mistake the country did with government schools. Whatever the government announces, it should be followed by strong measures to build it.”
According to experts, starting a new university will require around Rs 300 crore. “Many of the new universities are in a narrow discipline of knowledge. These can be added just as a new branch or a PG centre instead of a new university. Many new universities are struggling to survive and grow,” said Prof RN Sreenivas Gowda, secretary of the forum.
Some educationists believe the forum’s statement is prima facie not based on any data. “The government must not be guided by superficial statements based on convenience and perceptions. There has been no research done on what could the mobility be in the future,” said an educationist.



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Sagar Biswas

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