Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The State Government has been directly paying the teachers of privately run general education colleges their salaries in UGC scale, but the techno teachers are perishing under unfair salaries in Orissa. What a contradiction!
We have, with much pain, shown in these pages how the techno teachers are being treated as helots by the private operators of their colleges. Resultantly techno education in Orissa is in disarray.
There are 89 private engineering colleges in Orissa. Taking into account the private medical colleges, management and other allied institutions, the total of techno educational institutes run by private operators comes around 150. About 3,500 techno teachers serve these institutes. But except the greenhorn Shibani Institute of Technical Education, none of these institutes pay properly. Shibani is the only institute that has declared and is paying in the 6th Pay commission scale.
As the private operators are not paying properly, the teachers are not paying proper attention to education of the students.
As a result, 90 % of the students fail to pass semesters. This is why the confused students have so many times demanded that they be allowed to carry backlogs to higher classes. And the managements, having taken massive clandestine money at the time of admission with the assurance to provide the students with pass certificates, they have been corrupting the BPUT through money purse and political force to allow such backlogs.
BPUT communication No.4129/09 dated 11 April 2009, in providing point-to-point response to students’ demand has declared that, with withdrawal of ‘year back’ system, “a student is now allowed to carry unlimited number of back papers and move to higher semesters”. A B.Tech course has 8 semesters in total spread over four years. If a student could pass the first two semesters he need not pass in any subject in subsequent semesters to bag promotion to higher class year after year till the 8th semester. And, no student will also fail in the first two semesters because a cultivated committee formed to whitewash the illegality of helping weak students pass, had reduced the prescribed minimum of CGPA from 6.0 to 4.50. Despite this help, if a student was unable to pass the 3rd semester, he was to quit the BPUT system. But under pressure from the private college owners, this hurdle was also removed. So every student, despite failure in every semester, completes the 8th semester “carrying unlimited number of back papers”. If after completion of the 8th semester, he/she fails to clear the back papers in 3rd / 4th / 5th / 6th / 7th and 8th semesters, what should happen? Any sane man may say, ‘the student should be declared failed”. But no, the private techno colleges would not allow their students to fail despite failure in all this semesters. Therefore, starting from Ramdev to Chancellor, every possible player was used to ensure that there be ‘Special Examinations’ to help the failed students pass. To quote the BPUT document noted above, “All the back papers …. can now be cleared in the Special Exams if a student has not been able to clear them already in the various previous regular exams. (He carries unlimited number of back papers to higher semester today.)”. And the Special Exams are being held in the Colleges for their respective failed students. Results are such that a student, who had failed to pass in 37 subjects in course of four years, could pass them in single lot as if the Goddess of learning granted him the magic power to catch success so spectacularly. Obviously malpractice is the magic. Managements of the private techno colleges are suspected to have been forcing the students to resort to malpractice in order to pass the tests, even the Special Exams. It is not that there is no chance of any student being declared “failed” due to malpractice. Internecine rivalry amongst the private operators may lead to record of malpractice somewhere someday. So to render inconsequential any such discovered malpractice, the latest move BPUT has taken is to abolish the malpractice (M) grade, which is aimed at declaring the students pass despite noted malpractice. No wonder, it is observed that around 75 % of students coming out successfully from Orissa’s private techno institutes are not fit for any job B.Tech degree holders are expected to perform.
Are the students pursuing studies in private techno colleges, such idiots that such facilities are generated in the BPUT to help them pass? No. They are intelligent boys and girls selected for admission on basis of their success in competitive tests for admission, except a few, who, with “just pass certificates in plus two” level get admitted on management initiative.
Therefore, there is no reason for their continuous failure in consecutive semesters. But in reality they fail.
In other words, promising students are getting metamorphosed to failing stuffs in the private techno colleges.
This is simply because, the teachers in these colleges are not paying proper attention to teaching.
Why the managements are not taking any action against any teacher for lack of sincerity to their jobs?
This is simply because, the college operators are not paying proper salary to them.
So, lack of proper salary is killing the zeal of techno teachers and despite increase in number of institutes, techno education in Orissa is in serious jeopardy.
To change the scenario, the Government should ask the chancellor to review the activities of BPUT and do away with the system of unhindered promotion of students carrying unlimited back papers up to the final semester and thereafter to pass in all failed subjects in “Special Exams” contrived for helping the private operators keep their pledge to hand over pass degrees to students notwithstanding how faulty is their learning. Then, it must ensure that teachers are duly paid.
Instead of acting as a dalal of Vedant, the Chief Minister, if he is serious about development of technical education in Orissa, should immediately interfere into personnel management of private techno colleges and compel the operators to pay proper salaries to the faculty members, in UGC scale.
Those who are teaching in B.A., B.Sc., B.Com. courses in private colleges in Orissa are getting salaries in the UGC scale directly from the State Government. Those of them, who are not under UGC scheme, are getting salary in the 6th Pay Commission scale directly from the State at par with the State Government employees in corresponding pay band. This is essential; because, those who teach in techno classes and create the future technologists cannot be left to the mercy of their fate.
To ensure that teachers in general (private) colleges get the UGC / Pay Commission scale, the State Government has superseded their founding bodies and constituted Governing Bodies for every private general college headed by its nominated persons. The same yardstick must be applied as precedence to the private techno colleges. The State government must order them to pay the faculties their salary in UGC scale and if they fail to carry out this order, the Government must regulate their managements in the line adopted for general (private) colleges as aforesaid and pay them in UGC and / or Sixth Pay Commission scale without any delay.