Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sikkim CM Chamling inaugurates the college at Kyongsa

Gangtok, June 28: The affiliation of a government college, inaugurated by the chief minister today, with a private university has been termed illegal by the Sikkim Central University which says rules stipulate that all colleges in the state have to be under it.

The college is affiliated to the Vinayaka Mission’s Sikkim University set up under an Act passed by the Assembly in 2008.

“This is the gift to the students of West Sikkim. Now they can pursue graduation without taking the trouble of going to other districts for admission,” chief minister Pawan Chamling told a crowd after the college’s inauguration today.

The college at Kyongsa, close to the West Sikkim district headquarters at Geyzing, is the first institution to be affiliated to the VMSU. The VMSU was established by the Tamil Nadu-based Vinayaka Mission.

Admission to the degree college will start on July 4 and classes on July 22. The college has a capacity to admit 150 students.

Chamling said the college would offer general and honours courses in subjects like English, Nepali, Bhutia, Limboo and Lepcha. Students can also pursue courses in physical education, sociology and geography.

“We had approached the Sikkim University for affiliation but according to its norms, at least one year will be needed to complete all formalities. So, we decided to affiliate the new college to the VMSU,” said a senior official in the state human resource development department.

The decision to switch to the VMSU has not gone down well with the Sikkim Central University vice-chancellor, Mahendra P. Lama.

He said the college’s affiliation with the private university was in violation of the Act passed in Parliament in 2007. The Sikkim university was established by the central law.

“According to the Act, no college can be affiliated to other universities in Sikkim, except the SCU. The law says all colleges in the state comes under the SCU. We have no written information about the Kyongsa college being affiliated to the VMSU. We are for quality education and cannot give affiliation without physical verification of the college. Any college has to apply one year in advance for affiliation and recognition is given only if the norms are fulfilled,” said Lama.

The Sikkim government and the SCU have been locked in a controversy of sorts ever since the university was established in 2007.

The government is yet to hand over 250 acres of land at Yanyang in South Sikkim to the university to set up its campus. The university has already paid Rs 15 crore to the government in 2008 to acquire the land from 250 families.

Lama said the SCU had no idea when it would be allotted the land at Yanyang in South Sikkim.

“We were told last year that the land would be transferred to us after the monsoon. But this year’s rains have arrived,” said the VC.

The university has taken on lease more than 10 buildings in Gangtok to run classes and offices.


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