Three years have elapsed since Mangalore University granted autonomy to St. Aloysius College, St. Agnes College, St. Ann's College of Education, School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya (all in Mangalore) and Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara College, Ujire.

Students who joined these institutions from 2007-08 came under the autonomous system.

Have the colleges been able to bring any perceptible change in imparting education? Dean, Faculty of Science, St. Agnes College, H. Jayantha, said that the rapport between students and teachers in the college was better under the autonomous system. “The college can introduce many internal subject electives for students,” he said.

Joselyn T. Lobo, professor, School of Social Work, said that under the autonomous system, his college was able to follow its own calendar of events and adhere to it strictly.

Now, his college has completed the classes and examinations are on. Whereas, he said, many other colleges under the university were yet to complete the classes and examinations were yet to begin. The calendar of events was not being followed there, said Mr. Lobo, who is also president of the Association of Mangalore University College Teachers (AMUCT).

But, non-autonomous colleges should follow a uniform system prescribed by the university to assess the skills of students for internal assessment.

Registrar (Evaluation), St. Aloysius College, A.M. Narahari, said that the college had raised the standards of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses by prescribing the minimum for a pass at 40 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Issues

The colleges are seeking a more functional autonomy. Mr. Jayantha said that under the present autonomous system, there was no freedom to introduce a degree course with single major combination like Bachelor of Arts in History.

In addition, there was no freedom to introduce a combination with subjects such as Bharatanatya, Chemistry and Physics.

Criticism

Not all are convinced that autonomy is doing good. A veteran teacher of a reputed autonomous college here, on condition of anonymity, said that he did not see any major improvement in the quality of education after getting autonomy. He said that in his college, undergraduate teachers were being asked to teach postgraduate students. Many such teachers had not completed their research.

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