Mumbai: The iconic Sir JJ School of Art, along with two of its adjoining institutes, may finally get the de nove deemed university status today.
The decision will likely be announced by the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who will visit the 166-year-old institute and unveil the foundation stone of the new university on Thursday.
While the education ministry is yet to release the notification of approval, a government official said that they 'expect' the minister to make the decision public at an event in the evening.
The de novo category is awarded to institutions devoted to innovations in teaching and research in unique and emerging areas of knowledge. With the Centre's approval in place, the 'Sir JJ School of Art, Architecture and Design' will become the state's only government-run deemed-to-be university and one among the handful of institutes with the 'de novo' tag across the country.
Lying scruffy for a long time, the institutes' heritage campus in Fort is being decked up in the last few days in anticipation of the minister's visit and the imminent recognition. Pradhan will visit the three colleges and speak at the event, which will also have the state's chief minister, two deputy chief ministers, school and higher education ministers and the legislative assembly speaker in attendance.
The process to merge the country's oldest art college with the adjoining Sir JJ College of Architecture and Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art - into a university has been in the works for the last several years.
A proposal to do so was submitted by the state to the University Grants Commission (UGC) in March 2020, following which the apex higher education body issued a letter of intent in October 2021, asking the state to fulfil around nine conditions for the de-novo status.
In June, Maharashtra cabinet gave its approval for moving ahead with the plan and also pledged an annual grant of Rs 50 crore to the proposed university.
The government has submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the UGC, indicating that the new university will be administered through a section 8 (non-profit) company owned by the state. A UGC team has also visited the institutes.