A national-level survey of professional institutions in the country by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has severely indicted the Dhumal government for opening substandard private universities in the state, apparently to facilitate transfer of agriculture land to promoters who could not legally acquire it under the state laws.

The managements of all universities have purchased land from poor farmers by posing as educational charitable trusts in the documents submitted to the government. Intriguingly, these have been asked to run the universities only for a period of 25 years after which the managements can change the land use and use it for real estate. It is strange that eight of the 13 private universities have been opened in Solan district which has only three government colleges, the report points out.

The report of one of the front organisations of the RSS has come as a big embarrassment as it vindicates the stand of the opposition Congress and the CPM that the government has been promoting the land mafia in the name of opening of private universities.

“At present, 13 private universities have started functioning and seven more are in the pipeline. It appears that politicians, bureaucrats and business and industrial houses are working hand in glove for opening up of these commercial shops. None of the universities has past experience of imparting higher education and these are running only BTech courses and not offering any courses in social sciences. Only two universities are running MSc programmes in a few basic science subjects. These are not genuinely catering to the needs of society,” the report reveals.

No institution, except Jaypee University, has qualified teaching faculty and none of these is paying the requisite salary to the faculty. There is no reservation system for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes. The fee structure is very high and a poor, middle-class student cannot afford to seek admission. The quality of education is very poor and a student failing in any subject is asked to pay more fee the next time and the third time much more. Teachers are asked to promote the chosen students as there is no transparent examination system.