By: Lourembam Poireiton Meitei
Dhanamanjuri University Act, 2017: Under this Act, a cluster of 5 colleges, namely, DM College of Arts, Science, Commerce, G.P Women’s College and LMS Law college was established in 2018. Teachers of the respective colleges have been teaching and managing the Post Graduate courses 5 years hence.
However, several issues: non declaration of exam results, non-distribution of marksheets on time, issue of bifurcation of teaching and non-teaching Staff, issue regarding 7th pay by FEGOCTA, infrastructure etc have been hugely impeding the teaching learning process of Post Graduate students of the said University.
There was a huge backlog in academic activities worldwide due to Covid. This is true for all Universities in India. Post pandemic, every institution is doing their best to recover from the backlogs. However, as things return to normalcy, and other universities are completing their 3rd semester PG exams, Dhanamanjuri University has yet to recover the momentum and the admission process of PG 3rd semester has not started yet. Students of the university now dread at the anticipation of what will become of their career at this rate.
Issue between teaching faculty and Dhanamanjuri University Authority
Due to disagreements between DMU authority and the teacher body of the university, consistent and frequent protests from the latter, classes and academic activities is being currently halted, even as the academic calendar is already late by 6 months. Issues include a wide range of academic, structural and even political tussles, which are explained under.
Demand of the Teaching Faculty:
1.For the DMU Authority to apply for 12B status, under 12B UGC Act, 1956
2.Classification of PG and UG departments
Dhanamanjuri University was established under section 2(f) UGC Act, 1956. Accordingly, the infrastructure of the university has recently been inaugurated under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, (RUSA).
On 24th November, 2022, the long postponed issue of bifurcation of teachers was solved by the government, after which, the responsibility of applying for 12B status fell on the DMU authority. (If the university gets enlisted under 12B list of the 12B UGC Act, 1956, then the university will be entitled to various financial assistance from the Central Government, most importantly the NET/Jrf scholarship scheme for PhD Scholars.)
After the bifurcation of teachers by the Government on 24th November last year, there was a series of protests by teaching faculty again citing neglect by the DMU authority in applying for the 12B status. Classes were boycotted and academic activities ceased, following which the DMU authority finally applied for 12B status on the 13th of January, 2023. However, classes are yet to continue because the issue of classification of UG and PG departments remain.
Problems faced by Postgraduate Students under DMU:
1. The required number of classes to be held under UGC norms for a specific semester are not conducted.
2. Registration number of students are not issued
3. Semester exams not conducted on time
4. Exam results and marksheets are not issued on time
5. No specific department for Post Graduate
6. Lack of teachers: teachers of the university currently teach both UG and PG courses, which hugely affect the teaching learning process of students
7. Lack of non-teaching faculty
8. PG students have no access to library
9. Lack of classrooms
10. Collision between semester exams and the NET/JRF exam which is held by NTA
The results of the 4th semester exam of previous (2022) batch are yet to declare. The PG batch of 2023 is expected to complete PG course by June/July. Unfortunately, the 3rd semester admission process has not started yet. Thus, there are anxious questions as to when will admissions, classes or exams happen. Or even if they happen, whether the results will be declared timely such that students can pursue for higher studies in other universities.
Judging by the present trajectory, students will not be able to apply for PhD or give the NET/JRF exams on time, which is a disaster of pandemic proportions for the career of students.
There have been countless confrontations between students and the DMU authority regarding the above issues. The reply from the authority often is always an indifferent remark; “DMU should never have been established in the first place” or “we are still in transition phase” which greatly highlight the level of irresponsibility and lack of ownership. Often after elaborate discussions and dramatic protests, the confused students return home under the impression that it is our own faults for enrolling in this haphazard University.
The government, DMU authority and teacher’s forum should indeed take collective responsibility for ever overlooking the interests of the students, time and again, consistently and persistently erasing the culture of scholarship, and for reducing our campuses to anarchy.
Students are helpless, always at the receiving end of curiously designed mis-happenings and what was supposed to be a temporary discomfort because of “transition to a new university” issues, is now slowly becoming a perpetual victimisation; The grass that suffer because of elephants that fight.
The students are the most important in a university. More so, in society because we need critically trained youths to inherit society with all its complex problems. Thus, we implore the responsible authority and all stakeholders to amend existing issues and revive quality education in our campuses.