Grounded Flight


“Abhi to meri aasli udan baki hai” My real flight is yet to take off- This is her goal, her life motto. A girl yet to cross the threshold of adulthood. Eyes full of dreams, a heart brimming with aspirations and the aim to reach for the skies. She dreams of becoming our very own Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. She is diligent and above all a beautiful human being. But in the core of her heart lurk insecurities and fears which wake her in the dead of night. The horrible dream, some one is clipping her wings and she cannot fly any more. Why these nightmares? Why this insecurity when she is young and talented? Legitimate questions. Which demand reasonable replies. But before replying to those questions I am going to narrate her predicaments in brief.

The intelligent daughter of a small business man from Jaipur, she dared to dream big. She wanted to study for B. Tech, her father agreed despite the hardships that they both knew he would face in financing her studies. The humble, god fearing gentleman always encouraged his daughter to pursue her dreams. The next step was choosing an educational institution. The full page advertisements, glossy pictures and glamorous were hard to miss. It boasted about the largest private university of India having sprawling campuses all over India. It was enough to lure any innocent aspiring student. She was enamored too. She dreamt of being a part of those spacious class rooms, labs full of computers, and hostels which can be mistaken for hotels with stars. Yes you guessed it. It’s ‘the’ Private University.

This was the year 2004. She took admission in the Delhi Campus. Fees, caution deposits, hostel charges were very high but it seemed like a small price to pay for achieving the dreams which she nourished and nurtured in her heart. The young teenage girl, was elated at the completion of the first stage of her voyage. On realizing that a new campus had opened in her hometown, she promptly got a transfer to the Jaipur branch of the “Largest Private University of India”. Little did she know that she had fallen into a vicious trap where she stood only to lose, her money and her dreams.

The real shock came, when she heard the judgment of the Apex Court, canceling the affiliation and letter of intent given to the Rai University by the then ruling government of Chhattishgarh under the Chhattishgarh Niji Kshetra Viswa Vidyalaya Act. But the authorities continued giving the students false hopes claiming that so many private universities existed, it was certain they would get their affiliation back. The authorities applied to the Rajasthan government to get recognition as a full fledged university. She kept waiting for the judgment. Attending those exhausting classes, giving rigorous exams, burning mid night’s oils to score better grades…but what was the result? After all the effort they put in, a big question mark has been put on their future.

The worst part is she is not the only one, she is just one of those luckless mass of budding students. Yet she refuses to succumb to the circumstances. It’s the end of her third year. The franchisee has shown her the Letter of Intent issued by the Govt. of Rajasthan. But anything, other than a recognized B. Tech degree, is useless to her. The fancy score sheets, given to them are of no practical value. Because an Institution unless recognized by the Government, or by the appropriate authority, can neither hold any examination nor is entitled to give any valid mark sheet to any student. She is even ready to take those exams again. But the question is who will take it? There are many like her striving hard and still fighting for a degree they more than deserve. Their condition is worse than that of one who is murdered, there dreams have died a premature death at the hands of the very system which ‘claims’ to educate them. And their nightmare doesn’t end here; many had taken educational loans from various Banks and Financial Institutions. They stipulated to pay the loan amount with interest after obtaining the precious goat-skins and being suitably placed by the University. How will their families repay the loans taken for an education which they ‘officially’ haven’t received?

And the final blow came when their branch did not get the letter of intent, closing down thereafter. Students from the Delhi campus got the temporary affiliation from the Maharishi Dayanand university, Rohtak, while Mumbai campus students got a distance learning degree. The Jaipur branch authorities have left the students in a lurch, in anticipation of a favorable verdict that will never come. The adjournments of the hearing has meant an endless wait for many like her. She approached the government of Rajasthan to be granted permission to migrate to any private engineering college so that she can at least get a piece of paper to call a degree. After six months what came was: rejection, first from the university then the government

Her questions need to be answered or at least heard.

Because you, me and all those who belong to this middle income bracket of the society called Middle Class are time and again been subjected to injustices like this by the rich and powerful.

1. When she took admission, her degree was recognized .she was to become eligible to give exams like CAT, GATE, and IAS. If later, the government realizes that they made a mistake in granting permission to private universities. At the end of the day it’s not the student’s mistake. Why should they suffer?

2. What would be future of the innocent students who in good faith had taken admission and are now unable to get the degree just because they are studying in a college which was by mistake granted permission and later was declared unconstitutional?

3. How and when would the students be awarded a degree by any recognized institution?

4. What of the important time of the students have wasted in studying for a degree they are unlikely to get?

5. Does the government not have any responsibility towards the students, rather than creating more hassles they should try and provide speedy solutions.

Just think for a moment… Would you let your dreams be throttled so easily? Because of some one else’s mistake? It’s just that this time its some ‘she’ and not you.

The Rai authority continues to play hide and seek with the students. The students only have an obscure picture of what is happening because of the misleading statements that are being released from time to time. Sometimes they say that they would arrange for the migration of the students to any of the private universities. But it was found that the said university has no affiliation to the AICTE. When asked about it, they replied that it’s not necessary for a university to have an AICTE affiliation to run its technical courses. Which the students believe is a blatant lie. Even if it is so the Rai people are not standing by their own words. With the 7th Semester only days away and likely to start from the September, 2007 they are yet to make any arrangement for migration or conducting exams for 6th semester, yet. They are only concerned about the money to be paid by the students. They don’t even give the minimum service for the same. Shame on these people. How can these people do all these illegal things in broad day light and before the very eyes of the Central and the State governments? Or does the Honorable HRD Minister Mr. Arjun Singh think that reservations are his only concern and he is not to be bothered with anything else?

Priya Aggarwal