Though politically sensitive, Maharashtra Government is actively considering splitting of major universities like Mumbai and Pune to make them more manageable administratively.
In the light of recommendations of National Knowldege Commission (NKC), the State Government is considering the proposal to bifurcate or trifurcate these universities to promote academic excellence in teaching and research, a senior official told PTI.
The Commission, set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had proposed the formation of 'Undergraduation Board' to de-link undergraduate colleges from the Universities so that the Universities could focus on excellent teaching and Research
programmes constructively, the official said.
NKC proposals are yet to be accepted by the Centre.
Since Mumbai University has hundreds of colleges under its jurisdiction from at least five districts and Pune University in three districts, day-to-day administrative exercise was increasingly becoming difficult.
It was, therefore, felt that the proposals of NKC could come handy to encourage high quality teaching and research in universities like many of the developed nations.
A group of distinguished academica welcomed the NKC proposal which has been submitted to the Prime Minister on March 31 this year.
If there was such a move of bi- or trifurcation of University of Mumbai by the State and placing all the undergraduate colleges under 'Undergraduation Board', they said the University could really be in a position to introduce new ideas and innovations in higher education in Maharashtra.
The academicia also welcomed the recent move by the state Governor and Chancellor S C Jamir to appoint a 'Search Committee' to enable the appointment of Vice-chancellor post free from political interference.
When most of the Universities in the country have a problem of appointment of Vice-chancellors, Maharashtra took the lead in doing so by promulgating an ordinance, they said.
Because of the retrograde nature of Maharashtra University Act, it may not be easy to carry out the proposals of NKC, said some university officials.
It is a politically very sensitive issue and it needs amendments in the Maharashtra University Act as well as University of Mumbai Act for de-linking colleges.
While the higher education official said, "all it required was a Cabinet approval".
However, vice-chancellors of some universities feel that it would be very difficult to change, especially at the administrative level.
"As most colleges affiliated to Mumbai and Pune varsities may not be keen to sacrifice the brand image of the university, there could be a lot of resistance to the proposal," they said.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has appointed another such committee headed by Prof Yash Pal to reform higher education.
The committee has suggested in its draft report to replace existing regulatory bodies of higher education like the University Grants commission, All India Council for Technical Education and Medical Council of India, with a single body, the Higher Education Commission.
The committee's final report is expected to be submitted to the Ministry by the first week of May, the official said.