After results mess, 5 colleges apply for autonomy from Mumbai university this year, the highest-ever | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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After results mess, 5 colleges apply for autonomy from Mumbai university this year, the highest-ever

But the process of granting autonomy has been slow and nine applications, some from April 2016, are still under process

mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2018 23:15 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Colleges said  the mess in the university examination department was the primary reason why they were looking for autonomy which, among other things, gives colleges the freedom to devise its own curricula and hold its own exams in senior college.
Colleges said the mess in the university examination department was the primary reason why they were looking for autonomy which, among other things, gives colleges the freedom to devise its own curricula and hold its own exams in senior college.

After the University of Mumbai’s (MU) online assessment debacle, more colleges than ever have sought autonomy from the varsity.

This year, the university received five new applications for autonomy — the highest for any year. However, the process of granting autonomy has been slow and nine applications, some from April 2016, are still under process.

These new applications have come from Churchgate’s Jai Hind College, Thakur College of Engineering, Kandivli, Pillai College of Arts, Science and Commerce in New Panvel as well as Sir J J School of Arts and Sir J J School of Applied Arts.“We were all set to run with autonomy for the current academic year itself, but the approval has still not come through. Soon, we will start work on our prospectus for the 2018-19 academic year and hopefully we will be granted the autonomous status by then,” said the principal of one of the colleges.

The institute, along with two others, had applied for autonomy in April 2016, but owing to lack of manpower to form a Local Inquiry Committee (LIC), all applications were put on hold till October 2016. “The first visit of the university committee took place eight months after our application was accepted by the university,” said the principal.

Colleges said the mess in the university examination department was the primary reason why they were looking for autonomy which, among other things, gives colleges the freedom to devise its own curricula and hold its own exams in senior college . “We have been working on our proposal for autonomy for the past two years, but after what happened with the results in 2017, our management pushed for this proposal immediately. Some of my students are still awaiting re-evaluation results for exams from April 2017, which is unfair. We hope none of our students are ever put through the ordeal again,” said the principal of one of the colleges.

At present, nine institutes, including St Xavier’s College in Dhobi Talao, Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work and Jamnalal Bajaj Institute Management Studies, as well as five independent MU departments have been granted the autonomous status. The applications in process also include status renewal applications from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga, as well as K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, Vidyavihar.

While the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines grant autonomy for six years, MU statutes award the status for five years only. St Xavier’s College, one of the first MU affiliated colleges to be granted this status in 2010, had applied for renewal in 2015 and it was granted in 2016. “We have been awarded an extension till 2022,” said Agnelo Menezes, principal of the institute.

Decentralisation of the university has been a unanimous call and the recently introduced State Public Universities Act clearly states that colleges receiving ‘A’ grades in two consecutive rounds of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) should be granted autonomy immediately, but the implementation of this rule still stays on paper. “A basic system has to be followed before granting autonomy to a college and the decision comes from the university as well as the UGC. The nine pending applications should be cleared very soon,” said an official from MU.