LIC reports to be made public: MU

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Following reports and allegations of colleges resorting to unethical means to get the Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) to give a positive report to the University of Mumbai for renewing their affiliation, the Academic Council (AC) of MU has approved a long list of guidelines that both the LIC and the colleges need to follow to put an end to the alleged malpractices.
In fact, the AC has gone ahead and recommended that the LIC reports be made public by putting it on the University website, so that not only the LIC members but also the colleges are made accountable if some discrepancies are pointed out by the stakeholders in the report.
Speaking about the LIC and its role in light of the repeated complaints by stakeholders, namely students, their parents and teachers, that the quality of colleges was on the decline, the LIC acted as a watchdog and ensured that the colleges were made to pull up their socks if they lagged.
“LICs are appointed by the University and have to visit colleges to inspect whether the college fulfills all parameters to become eligible for renewal of the affiliation for a year,” explained a member of the LIC, adding, “However, after the LIC visit, errant colleges try to influence the reports of the committee by appeasing the members either in cash or kind. This is one of the reasons why many colleges exist for years without following the norms.”
To curb such coercive and manipulative practices, the AC approved a new list of guidelines in its meeting held last week. “There are 26 guidelines that LIC members need to follow strictly. However, to increase transparency and accountability of all those involved in the process, the report of the LIC will be made public so that students, teachers and other colleges can have a look at the findings of the committee. In case of discrepancies, the same can be pointed out to the University,” said Dr Madhu Nair, one of the AC members and convenor of the committee that framed the guidelines. The other members of the committee were Dr S.T. Gadade, Dr V.N. Magare, Dr Manjula Nichani and Dr M.G. Shirhatti.
The new guidelines will be put up in the senate for their go ahead before they can be implemented. “As the guidelines are aimed at bringing in transparency and improving the colleges under MU, we are sure the senate will also give its wholesome support like the AC did,” said Dr Nair.

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