With an eye on foreign collaborations and students intake from abroad, the prestigious 121-year-old Khalsa College at Amritsar (KCA) has been conferred the status of an autonomous college by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
With this status, KCA has become the third autonomous college in Punjab and the only affiliated with Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU). The other two autonomous colleges are Mata Gujri College at Fatehgarh Sahib and Khalsa College at Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur district.
The status was conferred after an evaluation process of the college's achievements in academic, sports, cultural arena and in various other fields.
Making this announcement before the media here on Friday, Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) president Satyajit Singh Majithia said that they would like to collaborate with top educational institutions in the world to meet the new academic requirements.
He said it was a matter of pride for the institute to become autonomous in its working and they would have more academic independence, more financial security with more funds from UGC and freedom in framing new syllabi, courses or enhancing number of seats in various courses.
He said that the UGC sent high-powered inspection teams, which finally submitted the report recommending the status. He said they were open to tie-ups with top educational institutions and colleges the world over and would also initiate the distance learning process in the days to come. Majithia also reiterated the KCGC's commitment to the rural and border areas for imparting value-based professional education to empower them to earn their livelihood.
Accompanied by KCGC honourary secretary Sardar Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, Majithia said the college administration would be run by a governing body headed by him as KCGC head and would comprise 12 members, including nominees from the UGC, government of Punjab, GNDU and KCGC. An educationist or industrialist would also be nominated by the management.
He said the status was granted following the new scheme of the UGC under which the top colleges in the country would be given autonomous status.
Chhina said management applied for the status last year and UGC reviewed infrastructure, academic activity, financial status and academic achievements of the college. He claimed the college would benefit financially as it would get more grants from the UGC annually. He said the status was conferred following the meeting of the full bench of the UGC on May 10.