Flying solo: 16 Mumbai University Colleges Granted Autonomy In Last 8 Months

Flying solo: 16 Mumbai University Colleges Granted Autonomy In Last 8 Months

The list includes four engineering colleges, while the rest are traditional arts-science-commerce institutes

Musab QaziUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 02:10 PM IST
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Flying solo: 16 Mumbai University Colleges Granted Autonomy In Last 8 Months | Representative Photo

At least 16 colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai (MU) have been granted autonomy by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the last eight months, taking the tally of the varsity’s autonomous colleges beyond 70. The list includes four engineering colleges, while the rest are traditional arts-science-commerce institutes.

Except for a college in Ratnagiri and another in Sindhudurg, most of these institutes are located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Autonomy, which is initially granted for a period of ten academic years, enables colleges to start new courses, design their curricula and form admission policies.

State & Centre encouraging autonomy for collages

The state and the Centre have been encouraging colleges to seek autonomy, to ease the burden on public universities and afford more flexibility and options to students, as envisaged by the National Education Policy (2020). “Though we are a commerce college, we want to incorporate some science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses in our curriculum. We also want to increase our tie-ups with other institutes,” said Principal Vijayta Shetty of the Vivek College of Commerce at Goregaon, which became autonomous last month.

The large set of approvals came after the commission notified new rules for granting autonomy in April 2023, to limit the role of the parent university. The UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations, 2023, allows the higher education regulator to accept applications for autonomy by colleges without approval from their respective parent universities.

Varsities have a 30-day window to examine the applications

While the varsities have a 30-day window to examine the applications, if they fail to respond in this period, it’s presumed that they have no objection. Under the 2018 regulations, which were replaced by the new guidelines, colleges were required to submit a proposal to the parent university, which had to forward it to the commission within 30 days of receipt. MU, which has 874 affiliated colleges, now has the highest number of autonomous colleges among public universities across the state.

Three colleges affiliated with the Shrimati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University are also located in the city. The state’s 150-odd autonomous colleges took the lead this year in implementing various provisions of the NEP, including the introduction of fouryear undergraduate programmes. The remaining colleges will follow the suit from 2024-’25.

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