The state government will now closely watch over the progress made by universities before they disburse funds.
Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, also the chancellor of all the 14 universities in the state, on Wednesday announced that a committee would be set up to review key performance indicators of the universities on the basis of which grants will be released.
The governor, who will head the yet-to-be appointed committee, took the decision at a higher education meet on April 6 after a presentation by the Minister of Higher and Technical Education Rajesh Tope.
Some of the indictors that universities will be judged on include updated syllabi, accreditations, number of qualified teachers and audited accounts submitted to the accountant general.
The performance review assumes importance in view of the declining academic standards of many state universities including the 150-year-old University of Mumbai (see box) as well as the proposed entry of foreign universities. According to the governor, the decision is necessary “to maintain highest standards of education in the state and to make it globally competitive”.
The chancellor has directed the government to create an appropriate policy framework to ensure that the foreign universities setting campus in Maharashtra in the future provide quality education.
He also advised the government to take a hard look at the existing statutes and make suitable amendments in sync with the changing times.
The state will soon launch an ambitious plan to increase the student enrolment in the state from 13 per cent to 20 per cent.
Also in the pipeline is the establishment of the State Knowledge Commission and appointment of expert bodies to work on amendments to the existing Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994.