By: Safiur Rahaman Maibam
Higher education plays a vital role in shaping the future of individuals and societies. Recognizing the significance of higher education in fostering critical thinking and nurturing responsible citizens is a must. Dhanamanjuri University was established under “The Dhanamanjuri University Act, 2017,” which came into force on April 6, 2018. It has five constituent colleges, namely, the D.M. College of Arts, Science, and Commerce, the G.P. Women’s College, and the LMS Law College, to provide quality education and value-based learning to the youth. However, since its inception, the university has faced several crises that have negatively impacted the academic well-being of its students.
Issues Faced by Dhanamanjuri University:
The issues faced by Dhanamanjuri University are numerous and diverse. Firstly, the university suffers from a severe shortage of faculty members, leading to overburdened teachers and a lack of specialized expertise. Secondly, issues related to the unresolved grievances of teachers, delayed issuance of mark sheets, and delayed declaration of examination results further exacerbate the academic environment. The university also suffers from inadequate and outdated library resources, with postgraduate students not having access to the library. The untimely issuance of registration numbers to students, failure to conduct the required number of classes for a given semester in accordance with UGC norms, and a lack of non-teaching faculty further contribute to the issues. Teachers teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate courses also have a significant impact on the teaching and learning process of students. Lastly, delayed semester examinations further worsen the situation.
The Demand of the Teaching Faculty:
The teaching faculty of Dhanamanjuri University has demanded the bifurcation of teaching staff and the application for 12B status under the UGC Act, 1956. The issue of bifurcation was long-postponed but was eventually resolved by the government on November 24, 2022. However, there were several protests by the teaching faculty, citing neglect by the DMU authority in applying for the 12B status. The DMU authority eventually applied for the 12B status on January 13, 2023, but the issue of classification of UG and PG departments faculty continues to remain unresolved.
Concerns Raised by Dhanamanjuri University Teachers’ Association:
In a letter dated February 27, 2023, addressed to the Vice Chancellor of Dhanamanjuri University, Manipur, the Dhanamanjuri University Teachers’ Association (DMUTA) expressed its confusion and disenchantment resulting in academic corrosion due to farcical orders of faculty classification, mainly in respect of Schools of Sciences and Social Sciences. Due to this unaddressed issue, PG and Pre-Ph.D. classes have been cancelled.
Impact on the Academic Calendar:
The PG batch of 2021-23 is expected to complete their postgraduate studies by June 2023. However, the admission process for the third semester of the PG program is only beginning on March 3, 2023, as per notification number 2/1/2018-DMU(Admin) Pt-II issued on March 2, 2023, by the registrar of Dhanamanjuri University. Due to disagreements between the DMU authority and the teaching body of the university, academic activities, including classes, have been halted. This is despite the academic calendar already being delayed. The university is experiencing a decline in its academic operations, as evidenced by the backlog of one semester that remains unaddressed. This backlog is not in compliance with the standard norms of completing odd semester examinations by December and even semester examinations by June.
It is imperative for the university to take swift action to rectify the current situation and address the backlog. This can be achieved through the implementation of effective measures that prioritize the academic well- being of its students. It is also crucial for the university to ensure that it adheres to standard academic norms and guidelines to maintain its credibility and reputation in the academic community. It is imperative that the university authority and the faculty members resolve the issues at hand in a cordial and cooperative manner to create an environment conducive to academic excellence. It is important to note that the students are the most important stakeholders in any university. As such, it is crucial that the responsible authority and all stakeholders come together to address the existing issues and revive the quality of education in the campus. In an increasingly complex and competitive global landscape, the need for critically trained youths is more pressing than ever before. The future of our society hinges on the education and development of our youth, and it is the responsibility of the university to provide them with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the challenges of the future.
In light of the current situation, it is essential that appropriate measures be taken to mitigate the impact of the existing issues on the university and its students. Failure to take proactive steps could result in long-term consequences for both the university and its students. It is, therefore, the duty of the university authority and all stakeholders to work together to address the issues at hand and ensure that the academic pursuits of the students are not unduly hindered.
In conclusion, urge the responsible authority and all stakeholders to work towards the timely completion of the odd semester examinations and the resolution of the backlog in a manner that is both efficient and effective. It is only by working together that we can ensure that the quality of education in the campuses is upheld and that our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the challenges of the future.