Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday said the government is considering setting up autonomous colleges independent of universities.
Addressing a meeting of principal secretaries and secretaries of higher education from various states here, Sibal said: "The government is thinking in terms of allowing the setting up of autonomous colleges."
The minister's day-long interaction with the officials was his first initiative to evolve a consensus of the states for reforms in the education sector.
"These (autonomous) colleges would require higher level of parameters to be independent of universities and once they improve even further, they may be allowed to become universities themselves," Sibal said.
He said this would facilitate establishing a three-tier system in college education in the form of affiliated colleges, autonomous colleges and the universities.
"This would allow colleges to improve themselves," Sibal said.
The minister said the government planned to set up 374 'model' colleges in as many educationally backward districts in the country.
He said through the Right to Education Bill, which had already been passed by the Rajya Sabha, "India is going to be spending huge amounts for neighbourhood schools, the process by which adequate number of students will be thrown up for the university system."