KOCHI: Maharaja’s College has now joined the league of autonomous colleges in the state as the University Grants Commission (UGC) has granted autonomous status to the 139-year-old institution. A letter informing the same was sent to the college on Thursday. With this, the college can now take independent decisions in academic matters.
“The change will not reflect greatly this year because the admissions for the academic year is complete. Only if the status was mentioned in the prospectus can the admissions and further changes to that batch be made in accordance.There is not much to do from our side. The university has to take further steps,” said Varghese C Abraham, Maharaja’s college Principal.
As part of granting autonomous status to the college, the UGC team, headed by Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Vice-Chancellor Anup Singh Beniwal, was on the campus to assess the academic and administrative credentials of the college in April this year. Ernakulam Maharaja’s College and the University College in Thiruvananthapuram were the only two government colleges in the state selected by the government for autonomous status.
As an autonomous college, it can prescribe its own relevant courses, bring about periodical changes in syllabus, evolve methods of assessment of student’s performance, conduct examinations and notify results. However, the university to which the college is affiliated will have checks on its performance, review and scrutinise all new courses and can modify them in consultation with UGC.
Though the fees charged will be according to the parent university norms, for additional courses, vocational component, skill-improvement programme and extra-curricular activity, moderate fee will be charged.
According to the Higher Education Department, the move to sanction autonomy to select colleges in the state is aimed to equip higher education institutions to meet the standards stipulated by the Central Government for financial assistance under the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) project.Opposing the inspection in April, students organisations and Maharaja’s Samrakshana Samithi had staged protests alleging that granting autonomous status to the college will lead to privatisation of the institution.