Hyderabad Ever since news broke that the 56-year-old Kamala Nehru Polytechnic College for Women may be privatized, its management has come under fire from the institute’s alumni, activists and others concerned citizens. Many citizens have been up in arms ever since they learnt that the college is likely to be privatized and turned into an engineering college.
Secretary of the college, Dhiraj Jaiswal, denied rumours of the college getting privatized and also accused protestors of foul play. However, others had a different tale to narrate. Khalida Parveen, an alumni and city-based activist, questioned the management’s recent actions as well. “If they aren’t shutting down the college why are some diploma courses being removed?” she questioned.
Parveen informed Siasat.com that the Kamala Nehru Polytechnic College for Women has been assuring the second-year students that their education isn’t in peril. But isn’t much talk on new admissions to the college, and as things stand, the institute isn’t present on the admission notification for the coming academic year.
As Swati Maniputri, an architecture student of the college from 2009 batch notes, “Kamala Nehru College doesn’t figure in the list of colleges for the POLYSET exam.”
The college has introduced engineering courses under All India Council for Technical Education. However, diploma courses like garment technology, architecture, pharmacy and hotel management have been removed from the course outline. Jaiswal remarked that the reason for doing so is because the courses are outdated and have no practical relevance.
However, Swathi has a different tale to tell. “Every year out of 40 students, at the very least 36 students have enrolled in these programs. If they were outdated, why would they study it? I went on to do my bachelors and masters in architecture after getting a diploma. Why is the Society behaving like this is not useful?” she asked angrily.
According to Swathi, the Exhibition Society has remarked that they don’t have the requisite funds to pay the contract lecturers and hence appealed to the State Board of Technical Education and Training to not permit admissions for the select courses if they cannot pay the salaries of the contract lecturers.
A staff member who wished to remain unnamed said that while they weren’t worried about their jobs as professors, they were concerned for the plight of young women who would be denied access to education.
“The women who enroll in the college are women from highly remote areas and post studying here, have managed to get jobs in management programs, work as stenographers and some of them even go on to do their bachelors in various programs.” he said.
Another faculty member, who did not want to be quoted, remarked that “It is one thing to ad newer courses however to remove the old courses which have improved the lives of women is unfair.” While further developments are yet to unfold, as the situation stands courses that produced fruitful results are no longer in existence.