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Engineering colleges in Maharashtra worry over losing brand to Technological University, BATU

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The Times of India |  Yogita Rao | TNN |  Oct 29, 2016  |  Engineering colleges worry over losing brand to tech univ  |

MUMBAI: Engineering students and colleges are distraught over the state government move to affiliate all institutions in the state with the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University (BATU). Colleges claim they will lose their brand value associated with Mumbai, Pune or other major universities once affiliated with BATU. Though the state has no immediate plans to enforce it in engineering colleges, the process will be carried out in phases over a period of time.  The idea is to have a single technology university in the state on the lines of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), which is the affiliating university for all colleges offering health science courses. The state also aims to reduce the burden on older and larger universities such as the ones in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, said Kiran Patil, deputy secretary (higher education). He added the standalone university was formed on the basis of provisions of an old Act.

 “We had released a notification in March informing colleges across the state about the move. Interested colleges were asked to begin the process of affiliation for the current year. We are not planning to enforce the decision right now but colleges are expected to join BATU in near future. We have a single health university in the state (MUHS), and BATU will be designed on similar lines for engineering institutes,” said Patil. Tamil Nadu has a similar model for engineering institutes, said a principal.   City colleges, though, are not keen on separating from their parent Mumbai University due to the brand value associated with it. “It is an older university in comparison with BATU. It is internationally recognized and the degree holds value in the job market too. Affiliating with BATU should be offered as an option, and not made mandatory,” said a suburban college principal. “Different groups are planning to write to the higher and technical education department and the directorate of technical education (DTE) voicing their opinion. Colleges are even ready to move court, if this is made mandatory. BATU needs to be made world-class before planning such a move. It will take at least three years for the university to build that kind of infrastructure. It is yet to be recognized by international agencies,” alleged a principal.

The state government, on its part, is upbeat about the plan. In a recent meeting organized for engineering institutes to discuss other academic issues, BATU’s vice-chancellor V G Gaikar listed out the advantages of affiliation. “We were told that teachers from unaided colleges, too, will get research grants. Currently, the scheme is offered only to teachers from government and aided colleges. The syllabus for autonomy institutes will not change once they shift to BATU. Major places such as Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur will have regional centres too, so colleges need not travel to Raigad,” said a teacher who attended the conference. Though city colleges are not keen, several rural colleges, even those affiliated with Mumbai University, have shown interest. “Rural colleges believe they will be able to get more students with a new entity,” said the teacher. –  Courtesy


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