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UGC rolls out autonomy scheme to empower quality colleges

According to a senior UGC official, colleges coming under the scheme will be able to determine and fix its own courses; restructure and redesign the syllabi to suit local needs

education Updated: Feb 13, 2018 23:41 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UGC,University Grants Commission,autonomy scheme
General view of UGC office building.(HT File Photo)

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon start inviting applications from colleges for autonomous status, under which they will be empowered to launch new programmes, fix fees for courses and prescribe rules for admissions, among other privileges.

The commission has notified the UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status Up on Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations-2018, and is set to ask colleges under affiliated state and central universities to apply for the same.

Under the new scheme notified by the government, institutions with a ranking of 3.51 and above in the National Assessment and Accreditation Council’s 4-point scale will be considered for grant of autonomous status without an on site visit by an expert committee. Autonomy will also be accorded for a period of 10 years, instead of six.

According to a senior UGC official, colleges coming under the scheme will be able to determine and fix its own courses; restructure and redesign the syllabi to suit local needs; prescribe rules for admission in accordance with prevalent reservation policies; evolve methods to assess students’ performance; conduct examinations; and launch self-financing courses; among other powers.

Read more | UGC warning to institutes: Drop ‘university’ from name or lose ‘deemed’ status

The human resource development ministry has been batting for greater self-governance in institutes of repute as a means to ensure enhanced quality and accountability in the higher education sector.

While experts have welcomed the UGC’s move, they believe that such autonomy should be extended to universities too. “This is a good scheme, but it is important to note that it should be part of a larger scheme of autonomy to educational institutions – which also include universities. The response to the scheme will vary from college to college. Granting approval to quality institutes without insisting on an onsite visit is also a welcome step,” said former Delhi University vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh.

Under the scheme, autonomous colleges will be able to evolve their own methods of assessing students’ performance, conducting examinations and notifying results. “The degree, however, will be awarded by the university. The certificate will bear the college’s name,” said a senior UGC official.

Autonomous colleges will also have complete administrative autonomy, including the privilege of appointing their own administrative staff and teaching faculty (including the principal).

First Published: Feb 13, 2018 23:41 IST