Kerala

No going back on granting autonomy to colleges: CM

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is escorted to the programme at St.Teresa’s College following protests by SFI activists in Kochi on Monday. Photo: PTI

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is escorted to the programme at St.Teresa’s College following protests by SFI activists in Kochi on Monday. Photo: PTI  

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While the UGC had proposed granting of autonomous status to colleges as back as in 2007, Kerala did not have any autonomous college and because of that institutions here could not demonstrate their excellence.

Notwithstanding the pressure excreted by various organisations, the State government in no way would retract the decision to confer autonomy to select government and aided colleges, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Monday.

Announcing the granting of autonomous status to St.Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, at a function held at the college campus in the afternoon, the CM said the step would ensure that the younger generations get adequate opportunity to build up their careers. While the UGC had proposed granting of autonomous status to colleges as back as in 2007, Kerala did not have any autonomous college and because of that institutions here could not demonstrate their excellence.

“The government is open to any discussions on the issue so that we can work out the way forward on a consensus basis. But there is no going back on the decision to grant autonomy,” he said.

Of the 500 autonomous colleges operating in the country, not even a single college belongs to the State, and the UDF government was determined to change this ignominy, he said.

Equating the opposition to the concept of autonomous colleges to the protests against self-financing colleges, Mr.Chandy said the protestors would gradually learn about its benefits. The granting of autonomy will give the colleges academic freedom to revamp and renew the structure of various study programmes, which is the need of the hour,” the CM said.

Fisheries Minister K. Babu stressed on the need to exercise the academic autonomy in a responsible manner and lauded the contributions of the college in bringing about changes in the higher education scenario.

Ernakulam MP K.V. Thomas, Francis Kallarackal, Archbishop of Verapoly, Sr. Teresa, college manager were among those offered felicitations.

A tense situation prevailed in and around the college campus with SFI and ABVP activists attempting to hold a protest march and wave black flags at the Chief Minister on his arrival here to attend the function. Efforts by the police to prevent the protestors, who were opposing a move to grant autonomy to the Maharajas College, ended in a minor scuffle.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:31:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/no-going-back-on-granting-autonomy-to-colleges-cm/article6331151.ece

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