Mumbai: The Maharashtra government wants to add 49 new colleges under the University of Mumbai (MU) in the next academic year, even though the varsity had proposed only 19.
While the varsity's list mostly had institutes offering skill-based courses, the state has largely provided for traditional Arts-Science-Commerce (ASC) and law colleges.
Plan for 2024-25
In its perspective plan for 2024-25, the state has approved 32 and 16 locations respectively for setting up new ASC and law colleges across seven districts, namely Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Thane, Palghar, Raigarh, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, under MU's jurisdiction. The list also features a spot for one design institute at Dahanu in Palghar. The plan was greenlit last month by the Maharashtra State Commission for Higher Education and Development (MAHED), which is headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The perspective plan, which serves as future roadmaps for the universities, include provision for new courses, faculties and colleges in different regions under their respective jurisdictions. The state and varsities are required to consider the social and economic needs, job opportunities available and requirements of the industry to prepare these plans.
In its proposed plan, MU had emphasised the need to have institutes offering vocational courses in the disciplines ranging from Cloud Computing to Horticulture, instead of traditional colleges. According to a university official, of the 19 spots identified in the proposed plan, only a few were earmarked for ASC colleges and none for law schools.
The state plan does provide for some skill-oriented programmes in disciplines such as data science, hospitality studies and aviation - Turbhe in Navi Mumbai is proposed to have an institute dedicated to teaching aviation and aeronautics - within the ASC framework.
Educationists unhappy with MU's decision
Meanwhile, the educationists are also worried about burdening MU with more colleges.
“The university is not able to manage its 900-odd affiliated colleges. The government shouldn't take political or any other pressure about having new colleges in a particular area. Instead, it should take a long-term view of things based on deep-rooted analysis. There's no cohesiveness in the policy,” said Madhavi Pethe, former Principal, ML Dahanukar College, Vile Parle.
The state, on its part, said that it has for the first time used the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to map the existing higher education institutes in the state and proposed the new ones accordingly.
Proposed New Colleges for 2024-25
District ASC Law Design
Mumbai 3 3
Mumbai Suburban 8 3
Thane 8 5
Palghar 5 2 1
Raigarh 4 1
Ratnagiri 3 2