PU colleges fail to get UGC special status

PATNA: The adage "old is gold" does not hold true in case of Patna University (PU) colleges. Even as most colleges under PU were earlier supposed to be premier institutions of higher education in this part of the country, they fail to compete with even some local "not-so-reputed" colleges today. Needles to say, PU colleges have failed to maintain their academic standards in recent times.

As many as five colleges of PU, namely Patna College, Patna Science College, B N College,
Magadh Mahila College and Patna Law College, had applied to the UGC for grant of CPE (College with potential for excellence) status. Surprisingly, not a single college could be selected for this coveted status.

On the other hand, College of Commerce under
Magadh University has recently been accorded the CPE status by the UGC. A N College, another college under Magadh University, has already got this status. This status is awarded to an institution on the basis of its overall academic performance.

It is also surprising to note that three premier colleges of PU namely-Patna Science College, B N College and Magadh Mahila College-have been awarded with B++ grade following their accreditation by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), while both the MU colleges have been awarded A grade by NAAC. Patna College, which was earlier known as "Oxford of the East", did not even apply for accreditation.

Academics feel that PU colleges have failed to develop with the changing times. They are still pursuing old traditional courses and methods of teaching and feeling shy of introducing any innovative scheme. Though some vocational courses have been introduced in recent years, they are hardly being taught properly. They have also failed to maintain their campuses well.

Today, hundreds of local youths, mostly outsiders, can be seen loitering in Patna Science College ground. The campus is never cleaned and it remains completely dark during night. How can such a college be considered for the award of CPE status, said a senior teacher of the college. The main interest of most colleges these days lies in earning money by conducting outside examinations on their campuses, quipped another teacher.