Security on university campuses is the need of the hour, but Bangalore University (BU) has chosen to keep in abeyance an advise from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to take up campus security measures - a recommendation that was made five years ago.
Setting up a grievances redressal cell and strengthening hostel infrastructure were some major recommendations made by a NAAC peer team that visited BU in May 2008 for accreditation.
The five-member team was headed by former Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Ananda Deb Mukhopadhyay. The team’s report listed 10 major recommendations to the university when H A Ranganath was V-C. He accepted the report in May and resigned two months later, to join NAAC as its director.
Now, when BU is preparing for reaccreditation, official sources said non-compliance with previous NAAC recommendations could adversely affect the university’s performance when another peer team pays a visit later this year. BU’s existing ‘A’ grade, received in 2008 will expire this September.
“Before we visit a university for reaccreditation, we ask whether they have complied with our previous recommendations. What is the point of assessment if it is not followed by reforms?,” asked an official of NAAC on condition of anonymity.
“The 2008 report of BU was accepted by the executive committee in September. This effectively means that the university, over the next five years, should work on our recommendations,” explained the official.
The only notable security measure that was initiated five years ago, was the installation of eight high-mast lights. It was only in November last year that BU formed a committee for campus security and this resolved to install as many as 120 surveillance cameras. This came after the alleged gangrape of a law student on the campus.
The university’s SWOC analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges) done by NAAC notes that BU has good infrastructure or academic and administrative functioning, good teacher and student quality and evident contemporary research in some departments.
However, NAAC noted lack of long-term perspective plan, absence of students monitoring system, affiliation burden, lack of inter-departmental linkages, among other weaknesses.