The fate of 28 women’s government colleges in the state, who expressed their unwillingness to join the Akkamahadevi Women’s University, Vijayapura (AWUV), will remain undecided till the elections are over as the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
A meeting was called by the Vice-Chancellor of AWUV, Professor Sabiha, on April 20,, 2018, with the principals of the 28 colleges currently affiliated to various universities like Bangalore University, Davanagere University, Mangalore University and Mysore University, the registrars of the concerned universities as well as the Director and Joint Director of Collegiate Education.
Talking to TNM about the meeting, LR Naik, the registrar of AWUV, said, “It was decided that a syndicate body of the university will be formed after the Model Code of Conduct ends on May 15. A meeting of the syndicate will be called to decide the transfer of affiliation of the 28 colleges.”
In 2015, the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2014, was amended to extend the jurisdiction of the AWUV, previously known as the Karnataka State Women’s University (KSWU), to the entire state. This meant that all the government women’s colleges in the state had to be compulsorily affiliated to the AWUV.
The move, which was aimed at “furthering the advancement of learning and prosecution of higher education and research by women”, was met with a lot of resistance from students as well as college administrations.
An administrative officer at Government College for Women, Kolar, one of the 28 colleges in question, told TNM, “Students are not willing to join AWUV. Bangalore University, to which the college is currently affiliated, enjoys a far better reputation and status than Akkamahadevi University. If it is made mandatory for the government women’s colleges to affiliate to AWUV, the strength of students in these institutions will fall drastically. Students would prefer to seek admission in a private college affiliated to a reputed university than study here.”
He added that all though there is provision for completing most processes online, the students will inevitably have to travel to the university office for various needs, including procurement of permissions, certificates and discrepancies in their report cards. Travelling to Vijayapura, more than 500 km from Bengaluru, will cause major inconvenience to the students.
According to MK Nayak, Director of Collegiate Education, Karnataka, it was also decided at the meeting that a period of six months would be given to all private colleges in the state to register under AWUV. The Commissioner of Collegiate Education, Dr Manjula N, has already received letters from private colleges expressing their unwillingness in joining the university.
An academician, at a private women’s college in the city, expressed similar concerns, “For all these years we have been affiliated to the Bangalore University, and we are very happy with it. The change in affiliation can present a number of difficulties, especially since geographically the university is located so far away.”
According to Nayak, Dr Manjula, has written a letter to the government conveying the concerns expressed by the colleges regarding the transfer of affiliation to AWUV and their desire to continue under the current universities. “The letter has gone to the government. Now it’s for the government to decide to bring all these colleges under the university or not. Since it is the time of election, the code of conduct comes in between. So we have to wait until May 15,” he said.