UGC regulations limit role of universities to examining applications online. Autonomous colleges can frame their own syllabi, admission policies
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R. Radhika | April 14, 2023 | 11:02 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Affiliated and constituent colleges will now be able to directly approach the University Grants Commission to get academic and administrative autonomy anytime during the year, without going through the university. Autonomous colleges will be able to frame their own syllabi and admission policies, restructure courses and launch new ones.
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The commission notified the new rules under UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations, 2023 on April 3, 2023. The parent university’s role will be limited to examining the applications for the autonomous status on UGC portal within a period of 30 days. If the university does not respond during this period, it will be presumed that the university has no objection.
The guidelines replace the older set of rules issued in 2018 to align it with the National Education Policy 2020. A draft of the amended guidelines was first made public in October last year.
The NEP envisages autonomy for all colleges currently affiliated to a university and recommends that they should eventually become autonomous degree-granting colleges. Under the 2018 regulations, colleges were required to submit a proposal to the parent university, which were to forward it to the commission within 30 days of receipt.
The new guidelines, however, have dropped an important provision that puts restrictions on colleges to limit contractual staff to 10 percent of total faculty strength that was part of 2018 guidelines. “All recruitments of Teaching Faculty/Principal shall be made by the Governing Body/state government as applicable in accordance with the policies laid down by the UGC and State Government from time to time,” the new rule states.
The autonomous status will allow colleges to design their own syllabi, and restructure courses and chart their own admission rules. The colleges will also get the liberty to start certificate or diploma courses without prior approval of the parent university. It can also offer degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels along with PhD programmes with the approval of the academic council. In November 2022, the commission had issued extensive changes to the PhD eligibility criteria which the autonomous colleges will have to follow.
The grant of autonomy will be based on the accreditation and assessment scores of the institutions. As per the new rules, autonomous status will be granted initially for a period of ten years provided the college is accredited either by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum ‘A’ Grade with a score of 3.01 and above or by National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for at least three programmes with a minimum score of 675 individually. “Accreditation status must be valid for at least one year at the time of application submission,” the guidelines state.
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