The Maharashtra government approved 61 new colleges in the state, including 24 under the University of Mumbai (MU). Of the MU colleges, 10 will teach law. The colleges can begin admissions to the courses this academic year itself.
As per norms, the proposals for new colleges are required to be approved before June 15. However, the government decided to extend the deadline till July 31 at a recent cabinet meeting, as it needed more time to scrutinise and verify the proposals.
The approvals are for courses that have a lot of demand. Of the 11 approved law colleges, four each will come up in Mumbai and Thane, while Palghar will get two and Navi Mumbai one. There will be seven new night colleges that will cater to working people who want to enrol for a degree course.
Colleges said they have been waiting for the approval for the past two years. “We are excited that it has finally come through. Law is a very sought-after course these days and students will have more options during admissions this year onwards,” said Zaheer Kazi, president of Anjuman-I-Islam group of institutes which will start the law college in the main campus near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. He added that with law admissions yet to start in the state, the institute hopes to begin classes at the new institute this year itself.
Over the past two years, the state government has given approval to just one degree college, though it received 298 applications. The government had said that the applicants did not fulfil conditions such as availability of non-agriculture (NA) land for construction and building approvals. MU had appointed an expert committee to scrutinise these applications. In 2015-16, the state education minister had decided not to grant permission to any new college in the state owing to thousands of seats that went vacant every year in all courses.
And while law colleges still have enough time to get necessary approvals from various departments including the Bar Council before they start admissions and lectures, other institutes with courses including BCom, BA, BMS, BMM, etc, are worried.
“It’ll be unfair to start admissions to courses half ay into the semester, as other colleges started lectures at least a month ago. The government should have thought this through before giving out approvals,” said the director of an institute in Thane, that has received the approval for a new institute in Palghar district.
Some of the new University of Mumbai colleges
Sasmira Institute of Science and Commerce (Worli)
Hindi Vidya Prachar Samiti College of Law (Ghatkopar)
Gokhale Education Society’s College of Law (Kharghar)
Bhausaheb Vartak College (Vasai)
Dnyan Prasarak Shikshan Sanstha’s Pushpalata Women’s College