Always known for its forward-looking ideology, St Xavier’s College has been home to many who have made a name for themselves.
Alumni, who follow the college closely, are thrilled about the autonomy.
Shabnam Minwalla, who compiled a book on the college for its 140th anniversary, said, “I don’t think there’s a college in the city as well-equipped as Xavier’s to make the most of getting autonomy. Especially since the departments have, I think, a clear idea of what new directions they want to take.”
Shubha Tole, a neuroscientist at TIFR, said, “When I joined the Life Science department in 1984, I was impressed by the creativity and forward thinking of the teachers. Xavier’s was the first place I encountered exams for which memorisation would not help.”
For autonomy, the college had to first apply to the university, which then forwarded the processed application to the state. After that, the application reached the University Grants Commission (UGC) and team from there inspects the college before final approval.
Before granting autonomy, the UGC looks at certain criteria such as the academic reputation and achievements of faculty. Colleges can apply for three kinds of autonomy — administrative, financial and academic. St Xavier’s has only applied for academic autonomy.
HR College in 2002 had applied for both academic and administrative autonomy.
Ruia College, too, had applied for autonomy at about the same time, but the university has still not forwarded their application.
This was because the college wanted changes in the policy on the composition of the governing council of an autonomous college.