Multiple issues hampering music varsity’s growth

Though established in 2011 it is functioning out of a school building

Lack of adequate land to establish a full-fledged campus, absence of full-fledged teaching staff, and delay in securing grants from the Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission has been hindering the growth of Karnataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University in the city.

This was stated by .Nagesh V. Bettakote, Vice Chancellor, while apprising the Karnataka State Higher Education Council of the challenges facing the varsity. The Council had convened a meeting of higher educational institutions and varsities to apprise itself of the problems unique to some of these institutions, in Bengaluru last week.

Prof. Bettakote said securing 12 B approval and recognition from the UGC was of paramount importance to the music varsity as it will pave way for securing funding from the Commission besides making it eligible to receive grants from the Ministry of Education. But this is dependent on meeting certain criteria including availability of land, presence of at-least 7 departments and 35 full-time teachers and an equal number of non-teaching staff.

Though the varsity is functioning since 2011, it has ben sanctioned 15 teaching staff including 6 for Hindustani music and 4 for music research and all the 15 posts are vacant and the responsibilities are being discharged by guest faculty and part-time lecturers. Similarly, 19 non-teaching staff have been sanctioned for the varsity of which 18 posts are vacant and employees have been hired on a contract basis.

Prof. Bettakote pointed out that in the absence of full-time teaching and non-teaching staff, the varsity was outsourcing resource persons from the field of performing arts besides teachers from other universities to run the courses. But it was proving to be difficult to complete the annual academic cycle and activities on time.

Similarly, there were no permanent non-teaching staff which was impeding the smooth functioning of the administrative section as well, said Prof. Bettakote. He said as per the UGC norms a university should have at least 50 acres of land to qualify for 12 B approval but the varsity’s quest for land itself is turning out to be a herculean exercise.

Though it was allotted 100 acres of land near Varkodu, it turned out to be a ‘deemed forest’ and hence has not been released. Another swathe of land was sanctioned but it was almost 60 km from Mysuru and as per the UGC norms, the campus land should be within a radius of 20 km from the seat of administration. Though a 5-acre land has been sanctioned near Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Nagar adjoining the Outer Ring Road, it was inadequate and the varsity has sought another swathe of land for construction of students hostel in the same locality.

The existing administrative office of the varsity is functioning out of a school building in Lakshmipuram and it required immediate restoration, according to Prof. Bettakote.He said the Higher Education Council has convened a follow-up meeting on January 12 to take up the issues germane to the growth of the varsity in a bid to arrive at a solution.

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