Eight MU colleges likely to get autonomy in 2020-21Updated: Feb 15, 2020 00:31 IST
With one more college applying for autonomy from the University of Mumbai (MU), the university said the eight colleges that have submitted autonomy applications may get approvals by the start of the academic year of 2020-21. The university has been trying to reduce its administrative burden by encouraging top-rated colleges to become autonomous.
The most recent applicant is S K Somaiya College of Arts, Science and Commerce, which will run the aided courses under MU’s affiliation while all unaided courses will now form the Somaiya Vidyavihar University (SVU), the state’s first approved private university. “The institute was waiting for the National Assessment and Accreditation Council’s (NAAC) approval, which came through recently, following which we immediately applied for the autonomous status,” said a spokesperson for the Somaiya Education Group, which runs the institutions.
At present, MU has 823 affiliated colleges and 35 autonomous institutes, including five university departments. “We are encouraging institutes that already have got A grades from NAAC, to opt for academic autonomy from MU,” said a spokesperson for the varsity.
Other applicants include Matunga’s D G Ruparel College which had applied for autonomy in 2018, but is yet to get final approval. “The process of approval faced some hiccups because of some changes to the college management, which is why we had to reapply for the status. It is underway but we are not sure how long it will take to acquire the status,” said principal Tushar Desai.
The national regulatory and grading agency for university education, University Grants Commission (UGC) has said colleges with A grades in three consecutive NAAC cycles should be awarded the autonomous status. This is expected to reduce the burden of universities with hundreds of colleges affiliated to them. The new guidelines, also state that henceforth, colleges with a NAAC score of 3.51 and above will be considered for autonomous status “without onsite visit by the Expert Committee” of UGC.
Experts said colleges need “full-fledged autonomy” as opposed to only academic autonomy, which is granted by current rules. “There are four facets of autonomy — academic, financial, administrative and managerial. What colleges are getting right now is only academic autonomy, which dilutes the power of the status,” said SS Mantha, former director of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).