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Autonomy to educational institutions in no way a step towards privatisation: Javadekar

Higher education sector regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) recently granted full autonomy to 60 institutions, including five central and 21 state universities, which maintained high standards.

education Updated: Mar 25, 2018 20:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Educational institutions,Privatisation,Prakash Javadekar
Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar.(Raj K Raj/HT File Photo)

The autonomy being granted to several leading varsities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and others, is in “no way a step towards privatisation of education” or fee-hikes, and the Centre will continue to support these educational institutions like before, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday.

The Union government would continue to fund the salaries of the faculty as well as provide other grants, Javadekar told PTI adding that greater autonomy essentially meant an enhanced global stature and a greater freedom to undertake fresh academic initiatives.

“The autonomy being granted to JNU and others is in no way a step towards privatisation of education as is being suggested by some quarters,” the HRD minister said.

Higher education sector regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) recently granted full autonomy to 60 institutions, including five central and 21 state universities, which maintained high standards.

There were reports of apprehensions and even protests in some educational institutions that the move was a step towards privatisation of public-funded institutions. Even though the Delhi University (DU) did not figure in the list of institutions being given autonomy, there were reports of teachers protesting what they termed the changed funding policies of the government.

Seeking to lay apprehensions to rest, the Union HRD minister emphasised that autonomy did not mean a fee hike or reduction of government grants.

This autonomy granted will enhance the reputation of our Universities throughout the world, he said.

The Union government will continue to fund central universities as we are doing today and we have no intention to increase fees because universities have become autonomous, he said seeking to lay doubts at rest.

“So all the apprehensions are misplaced; the autonomy will mean freedom to do more research, expansion and take up many other academic initiatives,” Javadekar said.

Referring specifically to DU, Javadekar said his ministry was in-fact pushing for filling up of vacancies in faculty positions and the government was prepared to pay salaries of the now joinees as well.

“As far as the Delhi University is concerned, we are following up with the university and the colleges, to recruit all faculty positions on regular basis with proper due diligence. We will be funding 100 per cent of salaries of all faculty as we are doing now,” he said.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 20:19 IST