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No Autonomous College Will Get to Award Degree: UGC

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The New Indian Express | Ram M Sundaram | 13th October 2015 |

CHENNAI: Autonomous colleges will not be granted powers to award degrees, UGC vice-chairman H Devaraj has clarified, following reports on the UGC Act being amended in this regard. This was a recommendation by an expert committee headed by former MHRD Secretary Ashok Thakur, which was set up to look into the suggestion to grant this power to reputed colleges. The committee had proposed that reputed autonomous colleges that have more than 25 years of experience in the field of higher education could be upgraded by according them the power to grant degrees.  This was part of the suggestions to reform the regulations guiding autonomous institutions affiliated to universities, for which the  committee was formed. But the committee required the consent of the UGC to introduce this important academic reform. In the meanwhile, media reports last week claimed that the UGC Act has been amended in this regard.

Denying these reports, Devaraj told Express that UGC had rejected the Ashok Thakur committee’s proposal. The HRD ministry has not taken up the issue so far, said the official, adding that the amendments were not on the cards anytime soon. Secretary of All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (AIFUCTO), Asok Barman said with no definite policy framework, the HRD’s stance keep changing very often. A senior academician from a leading autonomous institution said this practice adopted by developed foreign countries would help the autonomous institutions come out of the routine administrative tasks and focus more on research and innovation. But, without a proper monitoring mechanism in place, the quality will get diluted over time, he added. Calling the earlier proposal as retrograde in nature, a city-based college principal said, “When universities continue to grant degrees and approve start of new courses, how can the UGC delink and give the right of awarding degree alone?” TN Government College Teachers Association president R Venkatachalam said a degree certificate awarded by an university deserves more recognition compared to a college-awarded certificate. In the present scenario, this amendment would have brought down the education quality, he added. The ministry should come forward to get opinions from academicians and teacher associations, and frame a policy so that education sector is not affected, Asok Barman said. – Courtesy


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