Best opportunity

The Himalayan University (HU) imbroglio has offered an opportunity to the state government, particularly the education department, to look into the concerns over the functioning of private universities in the state. Ever since the allegation of selling of degrees by HU surfaced, it has created a storm and students studying in various private universities currently operating in the state are deeply worried. At present there are eight private universities operating in the state. Many of them do not have proper campuses, and some are operating from a single building. They don’t have the required infrastructure and manpower as outlined by the UGC but are offering degrees in various subjects, including the likes of engineering. These private universities do not hire qualified people. It is alleged that in some of them even people without UGC NET qualification are appointed as assistant professors, which is against norms.
They do not have proper laboratories and the library facilities and the staffers working in them are paid meagre salaries. The owners of majority of the private universities are from north Indian states. For them, the motive is to make maximum profit without worrying about the future of the students. The state government should immediately constitute a committee comprising prominent academicians from reputed institutions like the RGU, the NEHU, the Tezpur University, the NERIST and the NIT and check whether these universities are properly following the laid down norms. The government should welcome private investment in the education sector, but there should not any compromise with quality. The standard and quality of these universities should be such that they can complete with the best universities of the country. Only then will Arunachal reap the benefits of private investment in the education sector. The Himalayan University fiasco has opened the best opportunity for the education department to review the operation of private universities in the state. The department should act quickly to secure the future of the students.