The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to promote recognition of select government and aided collages as autonomous colleges by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the autonomous status would be conferred based on clear criteria recommended by a committee deputed by the Higher Education Council and chaired by N.R. Madhava Menon.

Autonomous status would not be granted to self-financing colleges. The Chief Minister said an expert committee would be set up, as directed by the UGC, for approving autonomous status for arts and sciences colleges as well as engineering colleges.

Autonomy would be granted this year itself. Kerala now did not have any autonomous college and because of that institutions here could not demonstrate their excellence.

Mr. Chandy recalled that the UGC had proposed granting of autonomous status to colleges as back as in 2007. About ten per cent of the colleges were proposed to be granted the status. Accordingly, more than 400 colleges under 79 universities in 19 States had been granted autonomous status.

However, Kerala had not adopted a policy in favour of such colleges.

Budget allocation

The government, however, had proposed measures to encourage colleges to get autonomous status in the budget for 2013-14 and earmarked Rs.15 crore for the purpose.

The following will be the criteria for selection of the colleges:

The college should have functioned for minimum of ten years, demonstrating academic and administrative excellence. It should have ‘A’ grade accreditation from NAAC. One-third of the teachers should have M. Phil, PhD or higher qualifications. The college should be offering courses at degree and post-graduate levels.

Besides, the college should have performed well in university examinations, youth festivals, sports and games, extension activities and community work.

It should have academic, physical and technical infrastructure, including library, hostels, equipment, staff quarters and information and communication technology services.

An official release said the colleges wishing to get autonomous status should prepare the management, teachers, staff and students for the purpose.

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