At a time when ten colleges of the University of Mumbai have already got the permission of autonomy and are enjoying the benefits of academic freedom, six city colleges are waiting to hear from the university for updates on their proposal seeking autonomy. It has been almost six months since the applications of six city colleges seeking autonomous status have been lying untouched.
The colleges whose autonomy application is still lying pending with Mumbai University includes: Mithibai College in Vile Parle, SK Somaiya College in Vidya Vihar and SIES College in Sion. These colleges have applied in the month of April 2016 and all six applications are still pending. The need of the hour is that the university sets up a Local Inquiry Committees (LICs) in order to verify and scrutinise the applications and personally check colleges, but there’s not enough manpower at present.
Irrespective of the fact, the colleges are yet to hear from the university about the status of their proposal which was submitted in June this year. They have already started working on the new curriculum and hope to apply for autonomy from the beginning of next academic year. All their teaching staff is already undergoing training to upgrade their knowledge about the subjects which have been designed to make them more industry-friendly.
As of now, University of Mumbai has the highest number of colleges with autonomous status compared to other universities in the state. First in the row under MU to be granted autonomy is St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, followed by institutes like VJTI in Matunga, Sardar Patel College of Engineering at Andheri, four institutes under the KJ Somaiya group of colleges, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management and Welingkar Institute of Management.
These colleges have started upgrading their curriculum and making it more ‘industry friendly’, many have also introduced certificate programs for extra credits per semester and completed their examinations and assessment of papers well within time.
Though the actual process autonomy never takes more than a year, some of these colleges have waited four years for the final nod. While colleges are still waiting to hear from the university, MU officials hope that the Maharashtra Public Universities Bill (2015) will be cleared during the winter session of the state legislature so that the committee that looks at the applications for autonomy can be formed.
Process to be followed for Autonomy
The college with consistent ‘A’ grades in National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) can submit their proposal to the Board of College and University Development (BCUD). This proposal is verified and sent to the university’s academic council, which sets up an LIC to verify the proposal by visiting the college campus. A report by the LIC is submitted to the BCUD and the academic council, following which the report is sent to the state government. The state government then sends the proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the final call. The entire process, if followed on time, doesn’t take more than eight-nine months.