THE MAHARASHTRA government Tuesday approved 15 additional slots for new colleges for the academic year 2017-18, while also diluting norms stipulated by the Maharashtra Public Universities Act (MPUA). In a meeting, the Maharashtra State Commission for Higher Education and Development (MAHED) reviewed the recommendations of an expert committee and granted approval to the 15 new slots.
Of these 15, five slots are under the jurisdiction of University of Mumbai — three commerce and arts colleges, and two law colleges. Some of the additional slots have been allotted in areas where no applications were received, said a source. Earlier, the education department had received around 900 proposals for new colleges and courses. Of these, 57 slots were for colleges affiliated to MU.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde told The Indian Express the decision was based on recommendations of an expert committee. “The recommendations were tabled before the MAHED which has given its approval to new slots as well as an extension of dates,” said Tawde. The MAHED is headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. An ordinance passed in the cabinet Tuesday also grants the state an extension till December 15 to call for applications from prospective new colleges, diluting the statutory deadline of October 31 set by the MPUA. So, prospective colleges can apply for permission to the state universities in their jurisdiction till December 15. The universities can now submit their recommendations until January 15. The state government will finalise the colleges by February 28, according to the ordinance.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the state government had extended deadlines for the college approval process in the last academic year too — from June 25 to July 31 and finally to August 5 to accommodate more colleges. Student body polls deferred by a year Student body elections in the state, which were set to make a comeback with the recently amended Maharashtra Public Universities Act, have been deferred by one academic year. The cabinet Tuesday decided that for the academic year 2017-18, the student council will be formed with nominated members, as per the norms of the old Act.
The cabinet has also extended the dates for the formation of university authorities from November 30 to February 28.