The Derecognition – A Short Story


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By Ganesh Subramanian

It was a warm and humid Friday afternoon. David was leaning against the walls of the academic block and smoking his favourite cigarette brand Wills. Classes for the day were over in Karkodak Institute of Management and the students had left for their hostels. The campus wore a deserted look. The rusty metal chair placed near the main entrance was also empty suggesting that the security guard had gone out for his routine cup of tea. David always spent some time alone in the campus in the smoking zone just beside the academic block smoking his cigarettes. It made him clear up his mind, according to David, a joke which his classmates had a hearty laugh over every now & then as they believed David had no brains for a management degree.

David always believed that he is a creative type and he ended up in KIM just to escape the pestering nature of his parents. In his brief journey with KIM so far, David has found more things to complain about the institute than praise. Taking another puff and admiring the tiny rings of smoke that he exhaled, David found his chain of thoughts broken by the image of a bespectacled man entering the campus gate at a distance. He seemed to be in his mid 50s and was professionally dressed. Quickly finishing his cigarette, David tried to remove the last traces of smoke around him by waving his hands furiously around his mouth, lest he should be caught by a professor.

As the man neared the academic block, David heaved a sigh that it was not any of his professors. So David assumed that it must be one of the parents of some student intending to join his institute and it was no surprise given that it was admissions season. The man approached him and asked if he was a student of the institute and David replied in the affirmative. The man wanted to know some information about the institute and David was convinced that he must indeed be a parent of some prospective student and was more than happy to oblige him. Given his hatred for the institute, David made a promise to himself that he will give only the truth about the institute so that he could save atleast one misguided soul like him from joining the institute.

“Academically, how good is KIM? What can you tell me about the teaching staff?” the bespectacled man asked.

“Sir, the professors are not that great sir except for a couple of them. In fact, most of the faculty put up on our website are not our permanent faculty. They teach at some other college. They have been listed on the website to make up the numbers.” replied David.

“I see” nodded the man thoughtfully. “What about the placement report?” “I believe you had fantastic placements for the outgoing batch. Isn’t it?” the man probed further.

“Sir, to be honest with you, only 80% of that batch has been placed. The rest of them have got into companies by their own efforts and their names along with the companies have also been included in the placement report due to the placement policy. So the figures that you see in the report for salaries and number of people placed are not true, sir” replied David.

“What about the infrastructure? Do you have comfortable facilities in the college and at the hostels?” asked the man.

“When we joined we were told that three of us have to share a room, sir. But later they said that for the next few months four of us have to share a room since new rooms are being built. Till now, new rooms are yet to be built and we are still 4 in a room, sir. The only saving grace is the food which is decent catering to tastes of students from various parts of India” David responded.

Before the man shot his next question, David pre-empted him and said, “Sir, if you decide to get your son or daughter join this institute, I would suggest that you look for other better institutes, sir. The fee charged here is also quite high compared to other colleges and no aspect of our college is praiseworthy sir”

The bespectacled man smiled at David and asked, “What’s your name, son?”

“My name is David sir” said David.

It so happened that the bespectacled man is a senior executive from the inspections team of the AICTE. Based on a number of complaints received about KIM, AICTE decided to go for an inspection of KIM last month. But when the officials visited the campus, they couldn’t find any trace of wrong doing in the administration or the management and the college officials have cleverly covered up all the mess, apparently having been tipped off about a possible inspection by someone. So AICTE decided to visit the campus again, this time sending a single official for inspection in the next month itself when the college management least expected it, expecting the college management to be caught off-guard and also trying to find out the anomalies from some students itself.

The bespectacled man shook David’s hand and said, “Nice meeting you, young man! Thanks for your open and honest views about the institute. I am Mr. Verma, a senior official from the inspections team of the AICTE. Your prompt answers have made my job easier. I will immediately file a report with my department recommending your institute to be derecognised so that we can save innocent people like you from being exploited”.

David looked stunned by what he heard and was left speechless as Mr. Verma confidently strode out of the campus main gate.

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