Rizvi College Voices Concerns Over Treatment As Aided College

Rizvi College Voices Concerns Over Treatment As Aided College

In a conversation with The Free Press Journal (FPJ), Prof Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, the principal of the college, shared several issues that colleges face, expressing frustration over disparities and challenges in sustainability.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 03:11 PM IST
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Rizvi College | File

Bandra’s Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce is speaking out against what it perceives as unfair treatment due to its status as an aided/affiliated college. In a conversation with The Free Press Journal (FPJ), Prof Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, the principal of the college shared several issues aided colleges to face, expressing frustration over disparities and challenges in sustainability.

FPJ: What are the challenges faced by the college?

Khan: There is a huge gap between autonomous and affiliated colleges. As an affiliated college, we will face a major problem in the future due to this gap. It is more like two parts of India, where on the one side we have Vande Bharat and the other is 'Jhopadpatti' (slums).

In the future, it will be difficult for us to survive as we struggle with financial constraints. Private colleges have the advantage of providing education more luxuriously, while we have to manage with limited resources. People are ready to pay there whereas they are not ready to pay a fee of ₹3000 here in our college.

FPJ: Is the government helping with the financial constraints that the college is facing?

Khan: No, they are not. Instead, they are suggesting that we find ways to generate our own income. But how can we do that? We are neither autonomous nor private. Additionally, the government is not providing us with enough staff or facilities.

It's a stark contrast when you compare aided colleges like ours with private universities that charge exorbitant fees for BA courses, sometimes up to ₹8-₹9 lakh per year. Our college, on the other hand, charges a nominal fee of only ₹3,000 annually. This disparity makes it challenging for aided colleges like ours to compete in terms of resources and infrastructure

FPJ: How is this affecting students and the institution as a whole?

Khan: While autonomous and self-financed institutions have the flexibility to update their syllabi to meet market demands, affiliated colleges like ours often lag. For example, we're still teaching outdated subjects like call centres, which were relevant two decades ago but are no longer in demand. This gap between the skills taught and those required in the job market puts our students at a disadvantage.

FPJ: Has the college brought up these challenges to Mumbai University (MU)?

Khan: If we need to appeal, there have to be certain bodies, where should we do it? There is no coordination between the university and its affiliated colleges. For instance, the university assigned examination centres without consulting us. They assigned us centres with double the capacity of what we could accommodate. In this day and age of the internet, why were we not informed at all? It only takes a click of a button to reach us.

FPJ: Have you got the directives from MU regarding the National Education Policy (NEP)?

Khan: Although NEP has been implemented, we haven't received any clear guidelines yet. Moreover, issues such as admission procedures and curriculum changes are still unresolved, creating uncertainty among both students and faculty.

There's a trend of taking CET for degrees like BMS, BBA, BBM and BCA. However, there are no BCA courses available in Mumbai University colleges. Why mandate CET for a course that doesn't exist in our colleges? In Mumbai, there are no BCA courses available, yet they are conducting CET exams for it without informing the colleges.

Even the university seems to be unaware of it. When we asked the university about it, they questioned the source of the ad. April is already over, and CET exams are expected to take place soon. The last day of registration has passed, and admissions are supposed to start in June, but we're still in the dark about the whole situation.

FPJ: Despite these challenges, what measures is Rizvi College taking to support its students?

Khan: Despite the constraints, we're committed to providing quality education and support to our students. We offer a range of initiatives, including add-on courses, certificate programmes, and community work, to enhance their skills and employability. Furthermore, we organise workshops, author talks, and book review sessions to foster a culture of learning and intellectual engagement.

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