Maharashtra: Despite Favouring Skill Courses, State Scores Low In Revamping Education System

Maharashtra: Despite Favouring Skill Courses, State Scores Low In Revamping Education System

Three-fold rise in approvals to new institutes offering traditional programmes; number of such proposed colleges spring from 85 to 237.

Musab QaziUpdated: Wednesday, March 06, 2024, 06:21 PM IST
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Representational Image | Pixabay

In a sharp contrast to its recent statement that it will not allow opening of new colleges that would simply offer traditional courses, the state government has granted initial approval to 237 such institutes for the upcoming academic year 2024-25. Compared to 2023-24, this marks a three-fold rise as the number of arts, science and commerce colleges approved in the last cycle stood at 85.

305 colleges granted letters of intent

Earlier, higher and technical education minister Chandrakant Patil had said that the state has many colleges offering 'largely redundant' traditional courses. In accordance with the National Education Policy 2020, the government had instead emphasised on the need to have more skill-based and employment-oriented course structures. However, the state department of higher and technical Education last month released a list of 305 colleges that have been granted letters of intent. Of them, just 68 are law colleges, while the remaining are institutes offering arts, science and commerce courses.

While these institutes have time until January 31, 2025, to fulfil various academic and infrastructure requirements to get the final approval, they can begin admitting students from 2024-25 if they become compliant with the norms earlier. At 82, the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women's University, which has the entire state under its jurisdiction, has the highest number of approved colleges. It is followed by the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the University of Mumbai (MU), which got 60 and 37 new institutes, respectively. The SPPU has the most new law colleges (27), while the MU got 15.

While most of the proposed new institutes plan to go with the regular BA, BCom and BSc programmes, some are also offering common specialisations within these courses such as computer science, information technology, banking and accounting and finance. Only a few colleges have listed new-age courses like data science, bio-technology, food science and forensic science. Most prominent among the new programmes is BSc (clinical laboratory science), which will be offered by 30 colleges; most of them affiliated to SNDT University.

MU not to recommend a single new law school for next academic year

As reported earlier by the FPJ, the government has also rode roughshod over MU's concerns on permitting new law colleges. The varsity had decided not to recommend a single new law school for the next academic year, due to shortage of approved faculty at its existing law schools. However, the chief minister-led Maharashtra State Commission for Higher Education and Development, the top body for college approvals in the state, still decided to greenlight 15 of them.

Total colleges approved: 305

Proposed institutes offering traditional courses: 237

Law colleges: 68

Deadline to complete formalities: January 31, 2025

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