TAMIL NADU

'TN leading in autonomous colleges'

FUTURE-PRONE: A.K. Dogra, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission, planting a sapling at E.M.G. Yadava Women's College in Madurai.

FUTURE-PRONE: A.K. Dogra, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission, planting a sapling at E.M.G. Yadava Women's College in Madurai.  



Staff Reporter

Objective of autonomy is to cater to local needs: UGC joint secretary



MADURAI: With the encouragement from universities in the State, Tamil Nadu has the most number of autonomous colleges in the country, unlike in many northern States, where universities still saw affiliated colleges as "milching cows," the Joint Secretary of University Grants Commission (UGC), A.K. Dogra, said here recently.

"In northern States, universities are not ready to part with affiliated colleges since they bring in revenue in the form of fees," he said.

As per the latest figures, Tamil Nadu has more than 90 autonomous colleges.

Mr. Dogra was speaking to The Hindu during the UGC team's inspection of three city colleges, which had applied for autonomous status.

According to him, the southern States are doing well in this regard with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka following Tamil Nadu in the number of autonomous colleges, as per national statistics.

He said the objective of granting autonomy was to make colleges cater to local needs and requirements of students as they had the freedom to change the syllabus as per wants.

"Universities do not change the syllabus often. In case of autonomous institutions they can formulate their own courses and change syllabus every year," Mr. Dogra said and added that universities had to realise that the UGC gave only academic autonomy.

Application rejected

Asked whether the apex body of higher education had rejected any applications for autonomy from colleges, he said very recently an application from a college in Karnataka was not considered. "Everything is not automatic and just because a college applies, the UGC does not immediately confer autonomous status on it."

Stating that applications of 13 colleges for autonomy were with the UGC (including three from Madurai), the Joint Secretary said that experts carried out a rigorous system of evaluation after which recommendations were made.



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