More Mumbai colleges are ready for autonomy
Premier colleges like Mithibai, Jai Hind and RA Podar plan to apply, some others seek clarity on provisionsmumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2015 00:33 IST
A number of premier colleges in Mumbai, including Mithibai, Jai Hind and RA Podar, are planning to apply for autonomy — a move that will give them the freedom to set their own curriculum and evaluation pattern and introduce new courses.
An increasing number of Mumbai university-affiliated colleges are seeking autonomy every year. Four other city colleges are currently waiting for approval, while eight Mumbai institutes have already been awarded the autonomous status.
“We are currently focusing on the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) process. Once that is done, we will prepare to apply for the autonomous status,” said Dileep Kamat, principal of Mithibai College.
Kamat said students and faculty have realised that autonomy will be the first step towards the personal development of students. “Students have to be up-to-date and in sync with the industry. For that, we need to go beyond university-prescribed syllabus.”
At RA Podar College of Commerce and Economics, meetings are being held regularly to get stakeholders on board. “We have been eyeing autonomous status for some time now, but first want to make sure we are ready for it. Once we follow all steps, we will approach the university,” said Shobhana Vasudevan, the principal.
Discussions are underway at Jai Hind College too, where sources said a clear decision should emerge soon. “As of now we are waiting to find out if any new policies will affect the autonomous status of colleges. Once that is clear, we will not take much time to apply,” said Ashok Wadia, principal.
More than 700 colleges are affiliated to MU, prompting university authorities last year to conduct workshops to encourage colleges to opt for autonomy. “We have made the process simple and are sure many institutions can handle this power well,” said MA Khan, MU registrar. He said with the new Maharashtra Universities Bill still underway, many colleges are waiting for clarity. “The draft bill states all ‘A’ Grade colleges will automatically be granted autonomy, so we are hoping for more clarity once the bill is passed,” Khan said.
A bunch of colleges, however, are still sceptical. “It is very important for colleges to be self-sustaining in order to accommodate the responsibility that comes with autonomy. As there is no financial independence (in terms of fixing fees) , many colleges are still thinking if it will be a good move,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College in Bandra.