Professor Dr. Ghanshyam Lal Das is serving as a Vice Chancellor of Purbanchal University since two years. Formerly, he served Tribhuvan University for thirty-five years as a professor, doctor, and head of the Department of Economics in Mahendra Morang Campus, Biratnagar. He was a member of Satya Nirupan tatha Melmilap Aayog, Bepataa Chanbin Aayog and the UN.
Mr. Das talked with us about the discriminating policy of government while allocating the budget to the universities. He revealed that few universities are receiving fund of 80 to 90 crores and few are give 3 or 4 crores only. Here is the detailed story.
YOU HAVE ALREADY SERVED AS VC FOR 2 YEARS. HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR JOURNEY?
It was both successful and blissful. During these two years, I have been able to bring few positive changes. One of the major issues of Purbanchal University was it was providing affiliation recklessly. To solve this, I created a working manual, and now affiliation is being provided only after considering the necessity and relevancy.
THERE ARE VERY FEW COLLEGES AFFILIATED TO PU. WHAT’S THE REASON BEHIND IT?
If we start to provide the affiliation there are a lot of colleges who are willing to be affiliated with our university. But providing the affiliation is not a matter of pride. We provide affiliation only if there is necessity and relevancy.
WHAT KIND OF CHANGES HAVE YOU PLANNED TO BRING DURING YOUR TENURE?
Purbanchal University has only four constituent colleges. My plan is to increase that number, thus I am drawing a plan for that. We have a college of medical science in Goathgaun which only had BSc. Nursing and BM. I added two postgraduate programs MPH and MPharm. To address the rising need for agriculture education, we established Girija Prasad Koirala Agriculture College and Research Center as a fifth constituent college and introduced B.Sc.Ag. program. From this year we will be running a sixth constituent college, Purbanchal University College of Environment and Forestry. Coming year we will be adding a college of Veterinary and this year BPH and B.Pharm program will be introduced. In the coming year, we will be running law program in our own constituent college.
HAVE YOU FACED ANY POLITICAL INTERFERENCE WHILE HIRING STAFF OR IMPLEMENTING PLANS?
It’s a bitter truth. We have seen and suffered from it. Our country's’ education and University’s method is highly influenced by politics. So, we have to satisfy everyone and Purbanchal University is not a stranger to this. But this does not mean, PU working method has been influenced by this negatively. We have been moving forward in a collaborative way.
PASSIVENESS OF SERVICE COMMISSION HAS DELAYED STAFF HIRING, STAFF PROMOTION AS WELL AS EXAMINATION AND RESULT. THIS UNDOUBTEDLY AFFECTS THE STUDENT'S’ FUTURE AND MIGHT STAIN THE REPUTATION OF PURBANCHAL UNIVERSITY. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON IT?
Though Service Commission was established in 2058, it could not open vacancy after which the problem related to hiring and promotion surfaced. But after being appointed as VC, I tried to cooperate with Service Commission and have asked to sketch the
working method, process of promotion, teacher and staff ’s working format. I tried to conduct the Special internal competition which was successfully conducted by Tribhuvan University for three times. However, I faced a lot of obstacles from different parties. We finally got right to conduct the competition on 25th Jestha. Soon Service Commission will open vacancy. We believe this will solve problem-related to staff hiring, promoting and education.
HAS PURBANCHAL UNIVERSITY WORKED TOWARDS ESTABLISHING FOREIGN ASSOCIATIONS AND INCREASING EXCHANGE PROGRAM WITH FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES?
When I joined, Purbanchal University the relationship with international universities was in zero level. I don’t mean it was not there at all. PU had signed agreements with Top universities of Norway, Denmark, India and Europe. But at the time I joined, they were already expired and the new agreements were not signed. Soon after I joined, I started working on enhancing international relationship. During my tenure, I tried to sign mutual agreement with India’s oldest Banaras Hindu University. And now we have established relationship with the university which we believe will help in student exchange, faculty exchange and research work.
Likewise we are associated with Jamia Millia Islamia University and BIMTECH University, both located in Delhi.
I am working on linking our university with enterprises so that our students find a place in the job market after graduation. In the coming days, a commission will be formed and we will have a coordinator under whom we will be sending one teacher of each program to the foreign country for training.
ARE THE GRADUATES PRODUCED FROM PU COMPETENT ENOUGH TO COMPETE IN THE INTERNATIONAL JOB MARKET?
PU is a professional university. 70 programs out of 75 run by the university are professional program. We were the first one to introduce MBA, BBA, Biomedical Engineering, Fashion Technology and 5 years Law programs. The graduates of PU are not just valued in domestic market but are finding a place in the international market as well. Though most of the programs offered by our university are of top notch, we cannot say that all the programs offered are of the top level. We too have some weakness. To change this we are conducting a survey on a regular basis. Researches are being carried out. However, we are not at the stage where we are able to provide the facility of credit transfer. But we are working on this too.
YOU WERE SAYING, YOU HAVE REQUESTED GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE A FUND TO RUN MBBS PROGRAM IN PU? WHY IS THIS NOT TAKING ANY SHAPE?
There are different types of universities among them Tribhuvan University is the oldest one and we are the product of TU. 80 to 90 percent of expenses of TU is funded by the government. Recently established Madhya Paschim University, Agriculture and Forestry University and Sudur Paschim University are fully government universities. In order to change private and community college into government institution, the government is spending huge amount of budget. But PU is getting only 3 crore per year and we have
to manage other expenses by our self. And then they expect us to establish Medical College. The budget allocated by the government is not enough to give salary to staffs and in that condition it is expecting that VC should establish a Medical College. However, it is not possible for me to do by myself or using university resources. Other VCs of PU in the past has appealed the respected Education Minister or Prime Minister to provide fund to open Medical College. But we are not getting the positive response. But I have tried to manage the budget by using the resources of university to construct few buildings however, that is not enough.
THE COUNTRY HAS ENTERED INTO THE FEDERALISM. WILL PU PROVIDE AFFILIATION TO THE COLLEGES OF OTHER
PROVINCE? WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE PROVINCE NUMBER 2 WHICH DOES NOT HAVE ANY UNIVERSITY?
It’s not possible for universities to take decisions by themselves in this regard. All the universities came into existence under respected parliament. UGC has formed a team that will undertake the survey and after that parliament will take the decision which we are bind to follow. But personally, I think the universities that are established under the respected parliament should be made central university and the universities formed under the state legislative should be called state university.
ANY ADVICE TO STUDENTS
I won’t say my university is better and others are not. University is a place where you receive an education. We are providing world class programs and education. But no matter in which university you get admitted you are the one who has to work hard. So it’s not just the fame of university that will land you in any job. Before we sleep let’s keep in mind we have a long way to go where we may face lots of hurdles but keep on working and success will follow you.