Madurai

Autonomous colleges not after deemed-to-be university status

Autonomous colleges of long standing in the region are not too keen on transforming into deemed universities as the indications from the State government on sustaining financial support has not been encouraging.

The colleges depend heavily on the State government’s financial support for meeting costs towards salaries and retirement benefits of the teaching and non-teaching staff. The position taken by the State government is that the colleges, once they transform into deemed-to-be universities, will cease to receive its financial support.

The autonomous colleges are also bound by the University Grants Commission’s emphasis on nurturing social equity in higher education which will not be possible if is left to fend for itself financially.

Aiming at scaling up the Gross Enrolment Ratio, UGC expects the institutions of higher learning to increase participation of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), minorities, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Persons with Disabilities (as defined in the PWD Act, 1995) and women.

“As such, there is enough flexibility for autonomous colleges to start new courses and conduct exams. The priority is to ensure that the socio-economic backward sections have access to higher education,” S. Ismail Mohideen, Principal of Jamal Mohamed College, said.

The colleges are conscious that the efforts they take for meeting the UGC’s requirements have a bearing on improved rating of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

Teachers’ organisations that often complain about the reluctance of the government to fill even sanctioned posts in government-aided colleges are also not enthusiastic about the prospects of autonomous colleges transforming into deemed-to-be universities. “It is simply not possible for colleges to maintain equity in higher education if the government-aided autonomous colleges are asked to become financially independent,” State general secretary of Aided College Teachers’ Association S. Sahaya Satish said.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 12:01:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/autonomous-colleges-not-after-deemed-to-be-university-status/article33997555.ece

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