Best performing colleges will soon get autonomous status which gives them the freedom to design existing courses, formulate new courses, conduct exams, fix their fees and constitute their own governing body and academic council. UGC notified these regulations on Tuesday.
So far, colleges draw their syllabus from the parent university. The intake of students, faculty, examinations, results etc are done based on the parent university's policies. HRD Ministry has been talking about graded autonomy for sometime and this move allows freedom to colleges to experiment and include best practices.
Colleges with a ranking of 3.51 and above in the National Assessment and Accreditation Council’s (NAAC) 4-point scale will be considered for grant of autonomous status for 10 years without an on-site visit by an expert committee. Colleges will continue to get UGC grants even after getting autonomous status.
The institutions will get the freedom to start diploma (undergraduate and postgraduate) or certificate courses as well as new undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes without prior approvals from the university or the regulatory authority.
Academic reputation and previous performance in university examinations has been kept as the main criteria, that will be looked at for granting autonomy. UGC will also look at research achievements of the faculty, adequacy of infrastructure and quality of institutional management for granting autonomy.
Colleges with 10 years of existence, aided or partially aided and with the stipulated NAAC score can apply for autonomy. The application for autonomy will have to be forwarded by the parent university, failing which it will be presumed that the University has no objection to the processing of the proposal by the UGC for conferment of autonomous status.