HIGHER EDUCATION: Many institutes look for alternatives like autonomous status in deciding syllabus
Most of the proposals for deemed-to-be-university status from Maharashtra have been on hold for a long time now and are not expected to get cleared soon following the decision of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to review the deemed universities in the country. Some of the institutes in the queue are now exploring other ways like acquiring autonomous status to at least design their own syllabus.
As many as 24 proposals from Maharashtra,of which 11 are from Pune,are pending with the UGC for the final clearance. As per the status report on its website,most of these proposals have been sent to the MHRD and are awaiting a final nod. But,the MHRD has put brakes on the whole process in a bid to detect malpractices,if any, during the past five years.
Despite having the requisite academic performance and infrastructure and completing all formalities,our proposal has been stuck for two-three months, said Gajanan Ekbote,executive chairman of Progressive Education Society,a 75-year-old institute in the city.
Rahul Karad,executive director of Maharashtra Institute of Technology,that is celebrating its siver jubilee year also echoed the concern. The institute had sent the proposal for deemed-to-be status two years ago,hoping to get it in its silver jubilee year at least. It should have been done faster,but I think now it will gain momentum as the new HRD minister is positive on awarding the deemed-to-be-university status to institutes with academic excellence, he said.
While some old institutes are awaiting the HRD nod,relatively new institutes like Indira Institute has chosen to hold back its proposal for some time. We are,instead,in the process of securing autonomy for our management institute, said Prachee Javdekar,director.
With autonomy,the institutes can design their courses as per the industry requirements and change it accordingly. Though the institute can offer certificates,it cannot offer a degree. We had submitted a proposal for deemed-to-be-university status two years ago. As we were asked to comply with various aspects from time to time,we thought it will be proper to be better prepared. Moreover,the UGC rules for deemed status are likely to change in the coming months. Against that backdrop,it is better to hold back the proposal at this juncture itself.
A section of educational experts agree that some of the genuine proposals have also been caught up in the present situation. There may be some genuine cases pending,but I dont see any delay due to the change of reins of MHRD. There may be a delay as the previous proposals are being reviewed,but then review is more important, said UGC former chairman Arun Nigvekar.
Deemed universities mushroomed in the past five years as there was no proper check. I had set up a screening committee for granting the deemed status during my tenure. Stringent norms were there and as a matter of fact many proposals were pending. But that committee was abolished as I left the job in 2005. Many proposals got cleared after that, he added.
In the queue
National Insurance Academy
International Institute of Information Technology
Symbiosis Open University
National Institute of Construction Management and Research
MIT World Peace Deemed University
Indira World University
Jawaharlal Nehru Cooperative International Institute
Progressive Education Society’s Modern University