The mood was tense and the campus rife with rumours when Fr Thomas C Mathew, the vice-chancellor of Christ University, called for a meeting on Tuesday. It was to assure students that ‘all is well’. This was after the news hit them that theirs was one of the 44 deemed universities that the Centre has sought to de-recognise.
“I just want my degree to be a valid one at the end of the course. Especially, since I’ve paid such high fees to gain admission here,” said Anitha, a Christ University student.
The Centre’s move has caused concern among students and parents. Six deemed universities from the state have been identified for de-recognition and these include two from the city, Christ University and Jain University.
Christ University was conferred the deemed status on July 22, 2008 and Jain University more recently, on July 24, 2009. There are over 6,000 students pursuing undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral-level programmes at Christ University and over 3,000 at Jain University. Hence the possibility of de-recognition has made the student community jittery about their future.
“We were told by the VC that there is nothing to worry about and that the Centre can’t just remove the university’s deemed status without asking for an explanation,” said Jagdish, another Christ University student.
The management of the Christ University has put up a notice on their website to reassure all. It read: “This note of clarification is to reassure all students, staff members and well-wishers of Christ University that its deemed university status remains intact and there is no reason for the university to believe that its status would be withdrawn.”
Jain University did not hold any meetings on campus. “We did not hold any meetings for students but there is nothing to be worried about,” said MS Santosh, joint registrar, Jain University.
“I am from the last batch graduating from Jain College getting certificates from Bangalore University. My juniors are likely to be impacted with this decision and there is concern among them about the future,” said Rajeev, a Jain University student.
Students were apprehensive about the stand taken by Christ University authorities. “At one point during his talk, the VC said ‘wait and watch, not even one institution named (among the 44 deemed universities) will be touched by the Centre’. They were not keen to take queries from students,” revealed Kumar, a Christ University student.
Parents feel that this issue reflects poorly on the quality and functioning of the educational system.
“The Centre should remove the deemed university status only after stating the areas that the universities were found lacking and giving them a chance to explain the same. This seems like a shotgun measure by the Centre. It also seems like a devious way to extract money from universities,” said Amarnath Krishnaswamy, a parent.
(Some names have been changed on request)