Shastry V. Mallady

The college became an autonomous institution in May, 2007

UGC took the decision at a meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday

MADURAI: The autonomous status of Saraswathi Narayanan College here has been withdrawn by the University Grants Commission (UGC) based on a detailed report submitted by Madurai Kamaraj University after conducting an enquiry in the college.

According to official sources, the UGC took the decision at a meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday where the details of the enquiry conducted by MKU were placed. The college became an autonomous institution only in May, 2007.

“We have received an oral communication from UGC staff with regard to the decision. A formal order will be received in a week’s time,” sources said.

Last week itself, there was information from New Delhi that the issue was placed in the agenda for the UGC meeting, they said.

A three-member MKU team comprising Syndicate members had conducted a probe based on a request from the UGC to enquire into the complaints received against the functioning of the college.

A major complaint was that the funds allotted to the college by the UGC as autonomous grant were not spent as per guidelines.

The members on MKU Committee were R. Murali, PR. Athappan and S. Perumal, all Syndicate members.

“The committee report was placed in the varsity Syndicate meeting and it was decided to recommend to UGC for withdrawal of autonomous status,” a committee member said here.

Three major observations were made by the enquiry committee.

“Statute committees like the Academic Council were not constituted properly. Another violation was that the funds given by the UGC for autonomy were not used for that purpose. And the college infrastructure was found wanting,” an MKU Syndicate member said.

Declining to give details about the decision taken on Tuesday, the UGC Vice-Chairman Ved Prakash, when contacted, said that “the meeting of the Commission took place.

The minutes of the meeting are expected in two or three days.” He said that the procedures laid down for communicating a decision to concerned institution would be followed.

By losing the autonomous status, the Saraswathi Narayanan College will be affiliated once again to the MKU.

Sources said that the university enquiry committee had also looked into the complaints that the college was finding it difficult to conduct examinations as per procedures expected of an autonomous college.

The UGC has been giving Rs.10 lakh per year as autonomous grant to this college.