College autonomy plan faces snags

Moving ahead with its plan to grant academic autonomy to 25 government colleges, the state has asked the institutions to submit detailed proposals on how they want to use the freedom.

Published: 24th October 2013 09:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2013 09:49 AM   |  A+A-

Moving ahead with its plan to grant academic autonomy to 25 government colleges, the state has asked the institutions to submit detailed proposals on how they want to use the freedom.

However, officials fear it will be a long-drawn process. The reasons include lack of full-time principals and frequent transfers in some colleges.

For instance, according to DCE sources, Indira Gandhi Government First Grade College, Sagar, one of the colleges that has been selected, does not have a full-time principal. Another example is the recent transfer of R Srinivas, who was principal of Government Arts College, Bangalore.

“The appointment of 153 principals is still pending,” said B L Bhagyalakshmi, director, Department of Collegiate Education (DCE), which is coordinating this first-such experiment. “This is a problem that we need to address. It is caught in a technical glitch, which involves a tug-of-war between principals falling under Group A and Group B,” she explained.

“In colleges that don’t have full-time principals, the government can always take a decision to appoint one immediately.”

In its document on guidelines for autonomous colleges, the University Grants Commission (UGC), which will finally grant autonomy, has asked state governments to “avoid, as far as possible, transfer of teachers”. 

“The fact is that government colleges are doing very well, but a sense of belonging towards the college is missing as teachers know they will be transferred. If teachers are not disturbed for 10-15 years, then autonomy for government-run institutions will work,” said Ramachandrappa R, professor at Jyoti Nivas College, a private autonomous college.

“It is a welcome step, but a regular principal, no guest faculty and timely grants should be ensured,” he added.

The list of 25 government colleges for autonomy drawn up by the DCE, of which eight are in Bangalore, was approved by the government in August this year.

Autonomous colleges can determine and prescribe their own courses of study and syllabi, restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs and evolve methods of assessment of students’ performance, conduct of examinations and notification of results.

The government will provide a one-time grant of `2 crore for each selected college.

The DCE will hold a meeting with principals of all 25 selected colleges on Thursday to brief them on how the proposal needs to be drafted and other issues.

The colleges selected for autonomy are Maharani’s Arts, Commerce and Management College for Women, Bangalore; Government  (Govt) Arts College, Bangalore; Govt R C Commerce College, Bangalore; VHD Home Science College, Bangalore; Govt Science College, Bangalore; Maharani’s Women Science College, Bangalore;  Govt First Grade College, Vijayanagar, Bangalore; Govt First Grade College, K R Puram, Bangalore; Govt First Grade College, Gubbi; Govt Boys College, Chintamani; Govt Boys College, Kolar; Maharani’s Women Science College, Mysore; Maharani’s Arts, Commerce and Management College for Women, Mysore;  Govt Women’s College, Mandya; Govt Science College, Hassan; Govt Arts College, Hassan; Indira Gandhi Government First Grade College, Sagara; Govt Arts College, Chitradurga; H P C C Government College, Challakere; Govt Science College, Chitradurga;  Govt First Grade College, Thenkanidiyoor, Udupi; Govt Arts and Science College, Karwar;  Govt College, Gulbarga; Saraladevi Satish Chandra Agarwal Government First Grade College, Bellary and Sri Siddeshwara Govt College, Nargund. 

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