From B. Harishchandra Bhatt
BANGALORE : Karnataka Higher Education
Minister C.T. Ravi told reporters on September
11 that the state government is likely to adopt
major educational policies by year-end,
including trifurcation of Bangalore University
and introduction of honours degree in all State
Speaking to reporters after attending a
round-table conference of Vice-Chancellors and
educationists on ‘Propagation of Gandhian values
and movement against alcoholism and drug abuse’,
here on September 11 the minister said that the
government was contemplating several educational
policies which will be ready by December.
“I have visited 14 varsities in the State and
will visit three by month-end. The major
problems I have come across are of a lack of
infrastructure and academic atmosphere. Where
there is infrastructure, there appears to be
inefficiency or imbalance in faculty and faculty
strength,” he explained.
To tackle this problem, the government is
exploring options including inter-university
transfer of faculty or students, he said. “We
are also discussing the possibility of
introducing the honours degree (an honours
undergraduate student studies only one subject
in depth as against three being studied in the
present system),” he added.
On the Education Department’s proposal to
trifurcate Bangalore University to which 634
colleges are affiliated, Ravi said that there
were discussions about whether to divide it into
two or three universities. It may be mentioned
here that the proposal to bifurcate the varsity
into north and south campuses was virtually
shelved after the death of the former Higher
Education Minister V.S. Acharya.
“It is a very big university. We are seeing if
it can be divided into north, south and east
campuses or bifurcated,” he said.
The Minister also shot down the likelihood of
the Indian Science Engineering Eligibility Test
(ISEET) replacing the State’s Common Entrance
Test (CET) for engineering admissions next year.
“Our CET is a well established system which has
become a role model for the other States. We
would like it to be held the next academic year
also,” he maintained.
K'nataka plans tough rules for private
BANGALORE : Karnataka State Cabinet has
approved the establishment of three more private
universities. At least, three more established
educational institutions have sought permission
to establish private universities. The State
already has two private universities.
The Cabinet recently approved the proposals of M
S Ramaiah Group, Manipal Academy of Higher
Education and Jain Group for opening private
universities in the state. Azim Premji
University and Alliance University are already a
reality in Bangalore.
Interestingly, those varsities which are in the
pipeline are also going to be in or around
Bangalore, while there is a dearth of good
colleges and universities in tier-II and
On May 26, the state Cabinet cleared the
proposal of Vellore Institute of Technology to
open a private university in Bangalore, while a
draft bill pertaining to M S Ramaiah University
Amrita Education Group, Sri Devaraj Urs
Educational Trust and Dayanand Sagar
Institutions are among those who have submitted
applications seeking permission to open private
universities, according to H Siddaiah, Principal
Secretary, Higher Education Department.
The State Higher Education Council has come out
with a draft rules document, which is yet to go
before the executive committee of the council.
The council has also prepared a draft Act which
can serve as a blueprint for preparing
legislations for each private university.
Council executive director Prof K M Kaveriappa
said there should be a set of rules for becoming
eligible to seek permission to open a private
university so that there will be no provision
for ad hoc decisions. Also, certain standards
could be set for educational institutions to
A body which sponsors a private varsity should
own not less than 10 to 15 acres in urban area
and not less than 25 acres in the rural sector,
where it proposes to establish the university.
If the sponsoring body already has established
institutions in an area not less than 10 to 15
acres, it can apply.
But there could be some relaxation in minimum
land possession in exceptional cases. The draft
rules say that while following the UGC
guidelines to submit the form, they should pay
fees to the Higher Education Council which is
The project proposal should be explained as per
the prescribed 12 heads. The title of ownership
of the land owned by the sponsors and the master
plan of the existing and proposed buildings
should be submitted.
It should establish its financial credentials,
including possession of sufficient funds, and
create a permanent statutory endowment fund.
The proposal of the sponsoring body should be
put before a search committee which has members
nominated by the Higher Education Council and a
nominee of the UGC or Vice-Chancellor of a
The search committee after physical verification
of the university site, if satisfied, will
advise the government to consider the proposal.
If the proposal is rejected, it will not be
eligible to apply for the next one year. In the
model draft Act too, the Council has stipulated
that a private university will have to comply
with the norms of not only the University Grants
Commission, but also of various statutory
bodies. The admissions and fees should also be
in accordance with UGC rules.
To a question as to why all private
universities, like the State universities,
should be modeled on a single Act, Kaveriappa
said, “Each private university will function in
a different way, because they are created
through a separate Act. The draft bill will only
serve as a blueprint as to how the bills should
Former vice-chancellor of the Bangalore
University, M S Thimmappa, said it was
unfortunate that so far private universities had
been allowed to come up, without a policy.
“There should be least government interference
in private universities. When autonomy comes,
responsibility comes automatically.
“But there should be transparency in the
management of universities. If the government
controls private varsities too much, they too
will end up like many state universities which
are in the news for the wrong reasons,” he said.
VTU vice-chancellor failed in 7 semesters
The head of
Karnataka’s premier technical education umbrella
institution, Visvesvaraya Technical University (VTU),
failed in seven of the ten semesters of his
undergraduate degree course in mechanical
engineering, says a Deccan
report datelined January 10.
He finally managed to pass the course, but only
after many attempts, adding up to a total of 25
marks sheets. He now heads a university which
has 200 engineering colleges functioning under
it. And the High Court is looking at his claims
that he passed in first class. The stack of
marks statements of his shows that he passed
only 3 semesters of the 10 without failing in
any subject, making repeated attempts to pass
some of the papers in the rest of the semesters.
He could pass two subjects of the seventh
semester only after he passed the 9th and 10th
While Maheshappa completed semesters nine and
ten in 1982, he reappeared for two subjects of
the seventh semester – machine design I and
estimating, specification and engineering
economics – in March 1983. In the ninth semester
too he failed in two subjects – metrology and
automatic control engineering – in Feb/March,
1982 and he cleared these papers along with the
Student at the Government BDT College of
Engineering, Davangere affiliated to University
of Mysore, Maheshappa obtained a post-graduate
degree and doctorate from Bangalore University,
where it was not mandatory to submit a degree
certificate while seeking entry to a PG course
or doctoral programme.
It is not mandatory for a person to have a first
class degree to become a VC, but Maheshappa has
been accused of making false claims before the
search panel that selected him to head the VTU
for three years from 2010. While he has claimed
that he has a first class degree in BE, those
who have filed a public interest litigation in
the High Court have alleged that he has just a
second class degree, and contrary to his claim
did not guide any PhD student.
The University of Mysore, during 1980s, used
award an engineering degree based on the scoring
of the last two semesters. Maheshappa’s 10th
semester marks card (August/September 1982)
mentions that he obtained second class. He
failed in two subjects and his total scoring was
393 out of 775.
He passed the subjects later. In the final
semester, he secured 830 out of 1400. While the
university awarded him second class going by the
marks he had scored in the first attempt, he has
claimed that after the second attempt he made in
the 9th semester, the percentage crossed 60 per
Copies of the marks cards, obtained under the RTI,
show that the University seems to have committed an
error in the column indicating ‘Total Marks’.
While the ‘Total Marks’ for the 9th semester was 775
in the statement of marks of Feb/March 1982, the
same is shown as 770 in the final semester marks
sheet, where both marks scored in 9th and 10th are
The total scoring of two semesters stands at 830 out
of 1400 (59.24 %). But it should be 830 out of 1425
Maheshappa, in the CV submitted to the search
committee, had stated that he had ‘guided’ four PhD
students. But a document obtained under the RTI from
VTU on January 5, 2012 has stated that no student
has been awarded PhD under his guidance but he is
only ‘guiding’ four students.
K Balaveera Reddy, two-time vice chancellor of VTU,
told Deccan Herald: “Any university will go by the
marks obtained by a student in the first attempt.
The marks obtained by making subsequent attempts to
clear a paper are not taken into consideration while
declaring class or rank. In case of VTU, the last
four semesters aggregate is taken into consideration
for declaring class.” (Courtesy : The Deccan
K'nataka to end Chancellor's say in state
From Our Correspondent
BANGALORE : Karnataka Higher Education Minister
wants to do away with the Chancellor and instead
have bosses hand-picked by him and other politicians,
according to indications available here.
The game plan is to declare new universities as
"innovative" universities and to introduce a new
governing structure for them in which the role of
the Chancellor (governor) would be substituted by
"presidents" who will be selected by a collegium
dominated by the higher education minister.
The proposed collegium, according to the Karnataka
State Innovative Universities draft Bill, 2011
scheduled to be tabled in the current assembly
session would neither have an educationist nor a
nominee of the University Grants Commission UGC) or
the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
but would be comprised of hardcore politicians and a
high court judge.
According to the Bill the collegium will comprise
the chief minister of Karnataka, the Leader of the
Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker
of the Assembly, the Minister for Higher Education
and the Chief Justice of Karnataka or his nominee
not below a sitting judge of the High Court.
The chief minister will preside over the
collegium and the Karnataka Higher Education Council
will convene the meeting of the collegium.
If and when the Bill becomes the law, in the first
phase, University of Mysore and Karnataka
University, Dhrawad will be developed into
According to the Bill the President of the
university will head the university in place of the
Chancellor, followed by the vice-chancellor, the
registrar and the finance officer. At present, the
Chancellor heads the State universities as per the
provisions of the Karnataka State Universities Act.
For many years Kannada University, Hampi had the
chief minister as the Chancellor. Later it brought
Governor as the Chancellor to head the university in
order to get funds from the University Grants
The Knowledge Commission had constituted a
sub-committee to suggest the modalities to be
adopted to establish the Innovative Universities. Dr
S Thimmappa, former vice-chancellor, who was on the
committee, said, “the panel had never suggested to
have the chief minister or any politicians on the
collegium. Dr Madhava Menon and Dr Govardhan Mehta
were also on the panel. We suggested the Innovative
Universities to be developed more on the lines of
National Law School which has high academic
The draft bill says that the President of the
University should be an eminent person who has
attained excellence in education field, industry or
judiciary or in such other profession. His term will
be for five years and will not be eligible for
Ombudsman and rector
The President will select the vice-chancellor from a
panel of three names recommended by the search
committee constituted by the Karnataka State Council
for Higher Education.
The Bill has made provision for appointing an
Ombudsman for the university, a first for the state
universities. The Ombudsman will oversee
accountability and transparency in the university,
receive complaints, grievances and recommend action
to the President. His term will be for three years.
The Minister for Higher Education will be the chief
rector of each university.
There will be two kinds of universities in the state
- unitary, having University Schools and Constituent
College, and affiliating having a number of colleges
with single or multiple campuses.
The universities, in addition to getting funds from
the UGC and government, can also get donations or
grants from private individuals or institutions,
industries, traders or entrepreneurs.