HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education will soon be releasing the notification inviting applications for affiliation of hostels in junior colleges. It may be recalled that last year only 15 colleges had applied for the hostel affiliation and eventually the matter went to the court. On January 7, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) had released the notification for affiliation for all junior colleges and the process which started on January 10 will continue till January 31.
TSBIE secretary A Ashok informed Express said that since there is “only a case”, the Board is within its powers to proceed with its plans to “regulate the private and corporate college hostels to ensure the quality of education along with good living conditions for the students”.
Following protests from college management associations, last year the Board had slashed the affiliation fee by almost three-fourths of the original amount and had also eased other contentions conditions.
“Our intention is not to harass the college management which is why we even relaxed the norms last year itself. Our guidelines are as per the norms of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and are a bare minimum,” he said.
Corpus fund, Fire NOC, building lease deed and space requirement per students were some of the most contentious aspects last year, however, will continue to be mandatory criteria for hostel affiliation even this year, he confirmed. It may be recalled that the 2016-17 academic year saw scores of suicides among intermediate students of corporate colleges, particularly residential ones. But since the hostels were not affiliated to the Board, the authorities could not take action against the management. With this realisation in 2018-19 academic year, the board decided to bring in the offer of affiliation to the hostels too.
“In the multiple raids that we have conducted, we found the conditions inside hostels pathetic. They were crowded, lacked sanitation, had classes for 12 hours daily and no holidays. So we have decided to offer affiliations to them too. This year too we will again take up the issue,” Ashok said.While the TSBIE is confident that this year it will be able to bring the junior college hostels under its purview, not everyone is optimistic.
P Madhusudhan Reddy, president of the Government and Private Colleges Lecturers Association, is of the view that “merely issuing notification for affiliation is not enough since private and corporate junior colleges have understood that if they simply don’t respond, there is not much the Board can do”.
“Last year too the management simply refused to apply for affiliation and eventually the Board not just relaxed the norms but also allowed all colleges to function their hostels without affiliation,” he said and added that if the Board is genuinely interested in granting affiliation then it must grant affiliation to only those colleges that have affiliation for hostels.
‘TSBIE is reeling under staff crunch’
“Already reeling under staff crunch, TSBIE has not been able to manage the existing junior colleges and against this backdrop getting the coaching centres within its fold would mean a further burden,” said Laxma Reddy, chairman of Association of Private Initiative in Rural Education.
Reddy had also raised the issue of bringing the coaching institutions under Board’s ambit some years ago only to be told by the then Special Secretary for Education Ranjeev R Acharya that these institutions were providing “quality education” and instead of complaining, private colleges should focus on improving the quality of education they are offering.