Indore: In what has been described as “step-motherly treatment”, Department of Higher Education (DHE) on Friday approved only two out of eight proposals sent by Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) for upgrading its teaching departments as Centres of Excellence (COE) under World Bank (WB) project.
On the other hand, DHE gave its nod to all seven CoE proposals of Jiwaji University (Gwalior) and six of Barkatullah University (Bhopal).
After letter of CoE reached here, a general depression set in on the UD campus of the DAVV which was recently been granted Grade A+ accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
“It appears from the manner CEO status has been granted to universities that DAVV did something wrong by clinching Grade +A accreditation from NAAC and becoming the only state university in MP to do so,” said a senior professor.
Denouncing the DHE, the professors said that universities with lower accreditation have been granted six and seven CoEs. Jiwaji University is A grade whereas Barkatullah University is B grade accredited varsities.
It was believed that the DHE approved more proposals of Jiwaji University and Barkatullah University as they still have to undergo inspection by NAAC for accreditation whereas DAVV already have got Grade A+ accreditation.
About one-and-half-years ago, proposals for CoE status had been sought by DHE under its Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project (MPHEQIP). Through MPHEQIP, the WB had announced plans to pump in Rs 2000 crore in select educational institutions of the state.
The project envisages six centres of excellence in each university and one centre in each government college. However, later the figure for university was raised to eight CoEs.
DAVV had sent proposals for upgrading eight of its departments including Institute of Management, Educational Multimedia Research Centre, School of Data Science and Forecasting, School of Computer Science, School of Economics, School of Electronics, School of Biotechnology and School of Education as centres of excellence.
The experts roped in by WB to go through proposals of all universities had recommended all eight proposals sent by DAVV. On the basis of experts report, DHE had also signaled at sanctioning about Rs 40 crore to DAVV.
But the DHE on Friday approved only two out of eight proposals of DAVV have been approved. DHE granted centre of excellence status to School of Data Science and Forecasting and Institute of Management Studies. Data Science Department has been granted Rs 1.04 crore whereas IMS has been granted Rs 79 lakh. Put together both the departments, DAVV got merely Rs 1.8 crore whereas Jiwaji University and Barkatullah University have been granted Rs 16.44 crore and Rs 10.96 crore respectively for setting up centres of excellence.
More CoEs to Jiwaji and BU for better grade: Teachers of DAVV believe that DHE awarded more centre of excellence to Jiwaji University and Barkatullah University so that it helps them in clinching better grade from NAAC.
“We don’t have any problem with Jiwaji University and Barkatullah University, but DHE should have not done injustice to DAVV. Our better grade should be considered as our strength and not weakness. Universities with higher grade get major grants, perks and autonomy. In MP, the case is just the other way round,” an HoD said.
Another HoD also denounced the DHE’s move but he also pointed out that DAVV’s mistake of not sending COE proposals for departments offering basic science courses. “The DHE list of COEs reveals that Jiwaji University and Barkatullah University’s proposals of basic science and arts have been approved.”
Comment: Our celebrations of Grade A+ accreditation ended as news about only two departments getting Centre of Excellence status reached UTD. We are very disappointed over the fact that we have not been given due share in selection of CoE. We will request DHE to reconsider our proposals.” Prof Renu Jain, vice chancellor, DAVV