BHUBANESWAR: The students of seven art colleges in the State, including the B K College of Art & Craft and Dhauli College of Art & Craft in Bhubaneswar are up in arms against the alleged apathy of the authorities of Utkal University of Culture (UUC).
Students of Bachelor in Visual Arts (BVA) of all the colleges on Tuesday submitted applications in their respective college offices for collecting college leaving certificates. The step was taken as a mark of protest against a decision taken by Utkal University of Culture to allow graduates from general background, having undergone bridge courses in performing arts and craft from Chandigarh-based Prachin Kala Kendra and Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Pune, to pursue PG from the varsity. A similar agitation was also carried out by students of College of Art and Crafts, Khallikote.
Sources said the varsity officials in an academic council meeting in October last year had reportedly taken a decision to make general graduation degree along with certificate courses from the two organisations equivalent to the BVA and BFA courses provided in the art colleges.
Accordingly, any student from the Arts, Science and Commerce background after undergoing certificate courses from Prachin Kala Kendra and Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, can pursue PG from Utkal University of Culture after clearing an entrance examination.
Alleging that students from general background cannot match the calibre of regular BVA and BFA students, the agitators said organisations like Prachin Kala Kendra and Gandharva Mahavidyalaya are neither UGC recognised nor have autonomous status.
“The certificate courses provided in these two organisations are distance in nature and one can get the certificates by paying just ` 100. This apart, there is no facility for practical training in the organisations which is of primary importance as far as BVA and BFA courses are concerned,” said Ranjan Kumar Sahoo, a BVA student of Dhauli Art College.
Another student of B K College of Art & Craft Sabyasachi Patnaik said BVA and BFA courses are four-year-long and extremely expensive like MBBS and BTech. “When we are spending lakhs of rupees to obtain degrees, the graduates from general streams can just get a certificate for ` 100 and do PG from UUC following the decision. This is a mockery of the education system in art colleges,” he added. The students threatened to hit the streets if the UUC authorities do not look into the issue in a day or two.
On the other hand, principal of B K College of Art and Craft Baldev Maharatha said the UUC Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar have been informed of the issue for further action.