The Nepalese education scene is one of chaos, anarchy and indiscipline, to say the least in unflattering tone. Tribhuvan University (TU), the premier varsity and the oldest, seems to be on the path of decadence. The academic calendar running on an ad hoc basis has certainly created a mess that has to do more with inefficiency and political meddling than anything else. It is true that TU has produced invaluable and skilled manpower, and scholars who are the best, but the present condition speaks all that goes in the negative. The late scheduling of examinations is but one thorn in the array of all that is not well. The present upheaval concerns the Bachelor Second Year Exams that had started on November 29, after protracted delay. Now, the examinations of some papers that were fixed from December 9-15, have been rescheduled for December 31-January 7. The Office of the Controller of Examinations did not even think twice as to the impacts in postponing the examinations for a later date. The reason for such was political rather than academic considerations. In fact, the 18th Convention of the UCPN-Maoist aligned students’ union ANNIFSU-R coincided with the examination dates i.e. Dec. 10-14, and their lobby worked the postponement magic. To be frank, such events are not unusual in the context of TU.
However, the university has to maintain a strict stance on adherence to the academic calendar, and not tilt at the slightest indication. Such a fickle decision by the examination controller’s office, of which even the TU Vice Chancellor is reported to have been ignorant, is not keeping up with academic dignity. In fact, once the calendar is made public, TU is bound to follow it despite anything that may come up on the way. But, the postponement for the sake of a student union’s convention is quite unheard of in the academic world. If this is how the university continues to run its affairs, the credibility that it has earned over the years will go down the drain in no time. Moreover, it comes as shocking that the examinations that have been conducted these days have seen much unethical means used by students with the TU authorities remaining as mute observers, unable to take any action against the foul players. That cannot be the label to be applied to the prime university. The shortcomings that are there have to be rectified instead of more making their entry to affect the smooth functioning of the university and maintaining its dignity.
In this context, it may be worthwhile mentioning that there are students who prioritise strikes and protests, seem to be hardly concerned about their exams. This is the paradox. With the hike in POL prices, there were students who resorted to vandalism, but were immune to the exams being rescheduled. With this mentality, the future for most of the TU products cannot be encouraging. It is high time that TU revamp itself to regain its former glory, which can be attained by remaining attached to sincerity, dedication and accountability among others. Summary decision to postpones a running examination reflects the disregard for set norms and values by the TU officials concerned.
Because of the scarcity of wheat seeds, farmers in eastern Terai and the hills are compelled to leave their fields fallow. Farmers have waited for days to procure the seeds without success. According to the National Seasonal Seeds Company Limited (NSSCL), it is running short of seeds and the demand for them is 10 times higher than its stocks. However, the farmers can purchase the seeds from private dealers but at an inflated cost. It is even alleged that the private dealers have deliberately caused the artificial shortage of the seeds so that they could make more money at the cost of the hapless farmers. Naturally ,the farmers are furious and police had to be deployed to take the situation under control when the farmers agitated in front of the NSSCL office.
Meanwhile, it is very unfortunate that there is a scarcity of seeds, and this was allowed to happen. The concerned should have prevented this situation by having ample stock of seeds. Since the bulk of the country’s population depend on agriculture for their livelihood, it would be in order to have adequate stock of seeds so that the farmers could acquire them without hassles.