Even as questions have been raised on the credibility of inspections done by Mumbai University-appointed local inquiry committee (LIC) to grant affiliation to colleges and unaided courses, the university seems to be in no mood to implement guidelines to constitute LIC as well as procedures of inspection that was submitted nearly two years ago by a committee appointed by the university itself.
The draft guidelines have listed around 25 criteria and documents that should be inspected by a committee during its visit to colleges. It also suggests that the report submitted by the LIC should have annexures enclosed with it, which should be prepared by a committee on the day of the visit to the college, similar to a report prepared by the National Accreditation and Assessment (NAAC) committee’s peer team.
A five-member committee was appointed by the university in June 2012 to prepare guidelines and procedures to constitute the LIC and its code of conduct during inspection of institutes for renewing affiliation or granting new affiliation.
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The committee comprised of Dr T P Madhu Nair (convenor), dean of the university’s faculty of commerce, Dr S T Gadade, principal of CKT College, Dr V N Magare, principal of Kirti Doongursee College, Dr Manjula Nichani, principal of K C College and Dr M G Shirhatti, director and principal of Oriental College of Management.
The draft guidelines were submitted to the Academic council (AC) of the university within two months after the committee was formed.
While the draft was approved by the AC, it is awaiting approval from the Management Council (MC).
“The guidelines were framed with a view to make LICs more effective, to have stipulated guidelines and code of conduct that can be followed by the LIC while conducting its investigation.
LIC has to be very effective as its report will decide on granting or renewing of affiliation to a particular institute. The draft has already been approved, it is pending with the MC currently,” said Dr Nair. He refused to divulge any further details regarding the guidelines, citing that it is pending with the MC.
According to another member of the committee, the draft includes guidelines such as providing training and conducting workshops for three members appointed in an LIC.
The draft also says that members should be provided previous LICs’ report of institutes, so as to enable them to verify whether that college has fulfilled the conditions pointed out by the previous LIC members.
The matter became public when members of Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA) last week wrote to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Governor K Sankaranarayan, alleging that although many of the colleges have been applying for affiliation, the university has not been renewing or granting the same, even after collecting money towards affiliation fees.
MUCTA has alleged that of the 714 colleges affiliated to the Mumbai University, over 500 do not have permanent affiliation either for entire college or for a part of it.
The staggering data of colleges awaiting affiliation or its renewal was detailed in a 2013 report of the state government’s senior audit officer, that was availed under the RTI Act by activist Vihar Durve.
The report also said that delays were noticed in constituting the LIC, thus, colleges were conducting courses without permanent affiliation, which is an important criterion for applying for NAAC accreditation.