The Maharashtra government recently admitted in the state assembly that five colleges were operating with just one student while 151 others were having two to ten students in the State. Members raised concern over deteriorating quality of higher education while demanding to close such colleges. During the question hour, Ganpat Gaikwad and others raised the issue that 423 colleges were having just a single student while 1,794 were having two to ten. They pointed out all these colleges were falsely claiming scholarships and were duping the exchequer.
Senior member Ganpat Rao Deshmukh raised fears regarding the deterioration in the quality of higher education due to such false colleges and demanded that they be shut down, irrespective of they were aided or unaided. Education minister Vinod Tawde has assured the government would seek information from the respective universities and table it before the house for further action.
Tawde also informed that the government had fixed minimum strength for the colleges at 60% of intake capacity for urban areas, 50% for rural and 40% for tribal areas. He said universities deputed Local Enquiry Committees (LECs) for verification of infrastructure and strength of teachers and students. It was only after LECs’ green signal that the colleges were granted affiliation. “The Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, has entrusted universities to take action against such colleges,” Tawde told the House.