The major administrative and structural changes proposed in the University of Mumbai (MU)’s draft perspective plan have been put on hold.
The university’s new plan for the academic year 2016-17, recently approved by the Maharashtra State Council for Higher Education – the state’s apex higher education body headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis — gives little consideration to some of the path-breaking ideas proposed in the earlier draft of the plan. Instead, it simply provides details on the new colleges that are likely to come up under MU’s jurisdiction.
The initial draft, which was prepared by a committee headed by Abhay Pethe, a professor at the economics department, included splitting the university into smaller units, cluster development of colleges, categorising institutes based on their performance and introduction of inter-disciplinary courses.
But after the appointment of Anil Patil as the director of the board of college and university development (BCUD), the task was assigned to the board. “These proposals [mentioned in the earlier plan] are part of our long-term vision, but nothing concrete has been planned on that front. The new plan is according to the guidelines issued by the Narendra Jadhav committee,” said Patil.
The universities got only one month to prepare the plan, which may not have been enough to study and add new proposals to the draft. “Also, the government plans to introduce a new act for universities in this Assembly session. So, the current plan is an emergency one-year affair, contrary to the traditional perspective plan for five years,” said a senior official of the state higher and technical education department.
The state had tasked a four-member committee headed by educationist and former planning commission member Narendra Jadhav to come up with a framework in order to bring uniformity in the perspective plans for all universities in the state.
Pethe said he wasn’t disappointed with the new plan. “It’s good that the vision document prepared by the committee has been accepted. I am hopeful that our suggestions will be implemented in the future,” he said.