Kerala

3 engineering colleges get autonomous status in Kerala

For representational purpose only. File  

Marking the start of a new chapter in the Kerala’s higher education sector, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has conferred autonomous status to three engineering colleges.

Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, Kochi; Saintgits College of Engineering, Kottayam; and Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, have earned recognition of being the first technical institutions in the State to earn autonomy.

The institutions, all run by Christian management, have been granted autonomy for 10 years (from 2020-21 to 2029-30) under provisions of the UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status Upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations, 2018.

Long process

The development marks a culmination of a long-winded process that began after the colleges submitted their applications to the UGC in early 2019. After several rounds of discussion, the government decided to constitute a three-member expert committee that comprised Kerala State Planning Board member B. Ekbal; Principal Secretary (Higher Education) Usha Titus; and APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University Vice Chancellor Rajasree M.S. to study the proposals.

Signifying a major shift in the Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s policy on granting autonomy to educational institutions, the government conveyed its approval on the basis of the panel’s recommendation that viewed in favour of opening the doors to autonomy in the technical education sector.

The State currently has 19 autonomous arts and science colleges (18 aided and one government), which are affiliated to the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University and University of Calicut.

An official in the rank of Additional Secretary had also been nominated by the government on the UGC’s expert panel constituted to consider the applications. Finally, a standing committee on the UGC met twice on June 19 and 26 to recommend granting the autonomous status.

Guidelines

The UGC guidelines for the status mandated NAAC accreditation with a minimum ‘A’ grade or NBA accreditation for at least three programmes with a minimum score of 675. The college should also have at least 10 years of existence.

While the institutions will continue to be affiliated to the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, they will enjoy the privileges of autonomy. They will be free to commence UG and PG courses, and Ph.D. with the approval of the Academic Councils of the colleges.

However, they will be required to inform the university about the introduction of such courses. The autonomous colleges must also have a Governing Body, Academic Council, Board of Studies and a Finance Committee.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 7:26:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/3-engg-colleges-get-autonomous-status/article32174390.ece

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