BANGALORE: Former vice-chancellors and education experts from across the state, including Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda batted for more autonomy for educational institutions.
On Friday, the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka State Universities (FVCK) organised a day-long seminar on ‘Autonomous Colleges-Status and Issues’. After inaugurating the seminar, the CM said, “Education is an important parameter for growth and development of a state and nation. This can be achieved by more universities and autonomous institutions. The government is ready to provide encouragement to the autonomous colleges in the state.”
The CM added that the government was focused on improving the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Karnataka. “Higher education and technical education is our focus. The GER in the state is 12 per cent. We want to achieve 25 per cent by 2017 and 30 per cent by 2020,” he said.
Dr N R Shetty, former VC of Bangalore University and president of FVCK, lamented on the Centre’s delay in passing many bills related to higher education. “It seems to me as though some paralysis has struck the government. The archaic affiliation system is still followed, and we need to let it go. Our focus should be on autonomy with accountability. We must stop following policies that intervene with autonomy,” he said.
Dr S N Hegde, former VC of Mysore University, in his presentation, strongly called for the removal of the affiliation system. “Bangalore University is struggling with more than 500 colleges affiliated to it. The varsity is struggling to disaffiliate many colleges. It is not easy, as in my tenure as VC for six years, I was able to disaffiliate only one college,” he said, adding that universities needed to extend autonomy to good PG departments and research centres.
“The affiliating university has to oversee the working of colleges, which becomes unwieldy in the light of large number of affiliations. Also, colleges will have no freedom to modernise the curriculum or make them relevant,” opined the former VC of Kuvempu University Prof P Venkataramaiah.
“Will Take Your Help”
CM D V Sadananda Gowda assured that the state government would solicit help and guidance from the FVCK, which was established in 2008. “I have asked the Principal Secretary for Higher Education H Siddaiah to fix a date for our meeting with FVCK. We are ready to make full use of your expertise to improve higher education,” said Gowda.