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Campus Connect: A race among Pune colleges for autonomy

BJMC, Fergusson College, COEP and BMCC want to go solo because of factors like academic freedom, design of syllabus and quality of education

pune Updated: Nov 17, 2017 18:05 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune colleges,autonmy,race among
College of Engineering Pune was honoured with an award under the category of ‘Excellence in Enabling Research Environment’ at the 4th FICCI Higher Education Excellence Awards 2017.(HT PHOTO)

The tide of autonomy is swift in the city as top colleges of Pune are vying to be independent institutes and universities.

The state-run Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJMC) attached to Sassoon General Hospital joined the league recently after Fergusson College, College of Engineering Pune (COEP) and Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC). On being asked the reason behind the tide, Bharatkumar Ahuja, director of COEP said, “It is an integral part of development for an education institute as it ensures more independence and fast evolution.”

College of Engineering Pune (COEP) is already an autonomous institute veering towards deemed-to-be university status.

“We are already an autonomous institute, but now we are also trying to get a deemed-to-be university status. The application has been made, but we are awaiting notification from the central government. This will not only ensure academic freedom to design the curriculum which is a base for a good institution, it will also allow us to expand and venture into more branches of technical education, especially with respect to research,” he added.

Last year, Fergusson College had received autonomous status from the University Grants Commission (UGC), which principal RG Pardeshi said is of great importance to the students and the institute as a whole.

“Autonomy allows us to design our syllabus and update it from time to time. This means, that unlike the conventional way we do not have to evaluate student’s merit only through written tests, but also venture to evaluate the true understanding of a subject through seminars, presentations,“That is one of the primary reasons why many colleges want to be autonomous,” he added.

After applying for autonomy to the state government of Maharashtra on November 2, the dean of BJ Medical College, Dr Ajay S Chandanwale, had a similar reason to declare. “The autonomy will allow us to open new courses and improve the academic quality and infrastructure of the college. Once, we receive autonomy, we have plans to open more super-specialty branches focusing on complex fields like cardiac surgery and more,” said Chandanwale.

However, on whether the status would have financial implications, Professor Ram G Takwale, former vice-chancellor of SPPU and the Indira Gandhi National Open University and ex-chairman of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), believes such ‘privatisation’ of education varies from person to person and institute to institute.

“There are private colleges who go for the status to be able to reap money, but that is not the point. The larger issue is to keep education relevant and continuously evolving, said Professor Takwale.

College of Engineering Pune’s Swayam gets another feather in its cap

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, every year, organises the award ceremony with an objective to build the future excellence and laud the achievements of the Indian universities, higher educational institutions and individuals. (HT PHOTO)

The College of Engineering Pune (COEP) recently was honoured with an award under the category of ‘Excellence in Enabling Research Environment’ at the 4th FICCI Higher Education Excellence Awards 2017, held at New Delhi, on November 9.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), every year, organises the award ceremony with an objective to build the future excellence and laud the achievements of the Indian universities, higher educational institutions and individuals.

COEP this year was one of the institutions, which made the application based on its satellite development initiative, Swayam. Expressing his joy on the development, COEP director Bharatkumar Ahuja said, “At COEP we have a moto, ‘faculty first, students always’, and this is the fruit of the collaborative efforts of both these crucial entities. Research has always been at the forefront of our focus, and the award is yet another example of that.” The award was received by Manisha Khaladkar, an associate prof and advisor for Team Swayam.

Snippets:

SPPU announces its pro vice-chancellor

Savitribai Phule Pune Unviersity (SPPU) on November 16 announced that the position of pro vice-chancellor has been filled by NS Umrani. The official notification was received by the varsity from Raj Bhavan, culminating in the election of NS Umrani.

He has served as the principal and member of Governing Body and Board of Life Member, at Maharashtra Education Society’s Garware College of Commerce.

18 Irish institutions heading to India this November

A 5-city education fair is being organised with 18 Irish institutions to spread awareness about education, work prospects among Indian students and about the colleges in Ireland. In Pune, the fair will take place on November 19, at Crowne Plaza, City Centre. The rest of the education fair has been spread out to take place in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 14:57 IST