With the scramble for seats in top engineering colleges about to begin after the declaration of Class 12 results, the focus has moved on to the quality of engineering colleges in the State. Some of them have performed so poorly that academicians have recommended cancellation of recognition.
According to the report, more than 60 affiliated and non-autonomous colleges under the university have registered less than 10 per cent pass percentage.
In the case of a private college in Salem, of the 785 students who appeared for the exams, only 11 candidates secured pass marks. The college registered a pass percentage of 1.40%.
The overall pass percentage of the total 497 affiliated colleges is only 42 per cent. Of the 5.25 lakh students, only 2.25 lakh have passed.
Shocked by the poor performance of the affiliated colleges, academicians say lots of corruption is involved in higher education programme in Tamil Nadu and opined that the colleges that put up such poor performance should be immediately shut down for the sake of students’ future.
According to former vice chancellor of Anna University, professor E Balagurusamy, many influential political leaders had setup colleges without any proper infrastructure.”The inspection team that grants affiliation are literally afraid of the political interference. That being the case, how would the college perform well,”he asked.
Stating that more than 20 per cent colleges in Tamil Nadu were non-performing, Balagurusamy said he had already lodged a complaint with the State government and present vice chancellor seeking all the non-performing colleges should be immediately shut.
The infrastructure at some of these colleges are so poor that they do not have libraries, computer centre, proper classrooms or qualified professors. Some did not even have proper power connection, the professor alleged. “How we can expect the students to perform under such conditions?”
K Lakshmanan, a retired professor of University of Madras, alleged that top level staff in certain universities were involved in corrupt practices by getting funds from non-performing colleges. “Unless there is a proper mechanism in place, there will not be any drastic change,” he said, noting that it was the students who were the victims due to this.
Tamil Nadu Federation of University Faculty Associations (TANFUFA), too, highlighted the presence of deep-rooted corruption in the higher education system. According to them, this is primarily because of the withdrawal of the State from education following its declaration as a service sector and commodity of sale under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that encourages commercialisation of education.
“At present, the university syndicates are constituted mostly by nomination, and the scope for the process of election to the membership is limited. Even in election process, there are instances where the self-financing colleges have brought their puppets to this crucial body,” TANFUFA president I Arul Aram said.
R Dhamotharan, the State convenor of the Joint Action Council of College Teachers, said there should be complete transparency in appointment of university officials, including vice chancellor, faculty and staff. “The minutes of the committee meetings, list of candidates, reasons for short-listing and selection should be published,” he opined.
He opposed the Higher Education department’s proposal to set up a common recruitment board for university faculty selection, holding that it would only worsen the situation.
- 497 colleges are affiliated to Anna University
- 2.25 lakh students passed
- 5.25 lakh candidates appeared (including students with arrears)
- 3 Colleges have 0% pass percentage
- 42% is the overall pass percentage
- 60 colleges have a pass percentage of less than 10%
On receipt of the application from the college for affiliation, for each of the academic programmes satisfying the pre-requisite such as infrastructure facilities including adequate class rooms, professors, libraries, playing ground, toilet facilities among others for applying for affiliation, an inspection committee would be constituted to inspect and submit a report to the University.
The affiliation granted to any academic programmes in a college will be suspended or withdrawn if the college fails to comply with the provisions made in this behalf or if it fails to observe or implement any of the conditions of affiliation, or has conducted in a manner which is prejudicial to the interests of university education and students.