KOZHIKODE: Prior to the statute amendment and the nod of the Syndicate and the Senate, aided Oriental colleges under the Calicut University have received the green signal for starting general courses. The order issued by Vice-Chancellor M Abdul Salam on August 14, in haste, comes at a time when the Syndicate is about to discuss the statute amendment on Monday.
Eleven of the Syndicate members have given in writing that they were willing to ratify the action of the Vice-Chancellor in granting affiliation to Daruunajath Arabic College, Karuvarakundu, Malappuram, and Anvarul Islam Women’s Arabic College, Mongam, Malappuram.
Earlier a statute amendment had been prepared to include arts and commerce subjects in the Oriental colleges. According to the existing definition, College of Oriental Language means “college which imparts instruction for course of study only in ‘Oriental Languages’ and for the preparation of students for degree, titles or diplomas of the university in such languages.” After the amendment, it would be “college which prepares the students for degrees, titles and diplomas of the university in programmes which have certain courses that promote Oriental languages/studies and other courses offered by the university.”
As many as nine colleges under the university, seven from Malappuram and two from Kozhikode, are granted provisional affiliation to start courses, subject to amendment of statutes and ratification by the Syndicate, approval of the Senate and assent by the Chancellor.
The order also states that admissions should be completed by August 31.
These nine colleges under the university had received the nod by the state government on September 12, 2009, along with 153 colleges, after a controversial move by the government during 2013-14 academic year, to appease the Indian Union Muslim League, by granting new aided college with aided courses in Vengara, Malappuram, under the Malabar Educational Trust and two aided courses in Amal College, Nilambur, Malappuram, which is also an aided college.
When the news of the course allotment spread, the government was put under pressure by NSS, SN Trust, MES and Christian managements, which were denied any aided courses or aided colleges for nearly 10 years, citing lack of funds and confusion after pre-degree detachment from colleges.
As a result, to bring in communal balance, the government was forced from all sides to give nod for 162 colleges (14 were added from an additional list to the first allotted 148). Of the allotted list, 11 were colleges of Oriental language (nine under Calicut University and two under Kannur University).
As per the statute, these colleges are not supposed to teach languages or courses other than Oriental languages. But as per the list available with ‘Express’, the courses listed include (see chart).
When contacted, the Vice-Chancellor said that the move to allot arts and commerce subjects in Oriental colleges was to promote the socially-backward community. “All have the right to education and let the backward community also get the benefit of the courses,” said Abdul Salam. But it was known that the Vice-Chancellor, who was against the move from the beginning, was forced to accept the interests of the IUML and the majority of the Syndicate members, who otherwise appear to have a strong disregard for his activities at the university and oppose him continuously in the Syndicate meetings. The VC was called for a special meeting with Industries Minister P K Kunhalikkutty at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday and the order was issued the next day.
Accepting new aided courses at the aided colleges is sure to incur huge loss amounting to several crores of rupees as a course would need a minimum of five posts and each posts are bargained in the open market for rates up to `30 lakh. The Finance Department had earlier cited lack of funds and had been allotting unaided courses only in the aided colleges for almost a period of 10 years just before the granting of two earlier mentioned colleges in Malappuram district in the beginning of the academic year 2013-14.
Academicians doubt corruption and favouritism behind some of the Syndicate members giving their consent in writing instead of an open discussion and speedy issuance of an order, instead of an ordinance by the government. Vidyabhyasa Samrakshana Samithi state coordinator A Vinod said the move was implementation of communal agenda and would lead to largescale corruption in the appointment of staff and allocation of seats. He said the issue was not even brought before the Assembly and the Finance Department.
Once the Oriental colleges are turned into arts and science colleges, the next move would be from other religious organisations to turn their training colleges (not reaping much financial benefits) into arts and science colleges.
Once the move to amend the statute of one type of colleges turns successful, amendments are likely to happen to turn the existing aided colleges into engineering colleges or law colleges, fear academicians.