Even as the state government has been sitting on a report since 2011 recommending “sub-division” of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur universities that are overburdened with affiliated colleges, Mumbai University has said in its perspective plan it will not grant affiliation to any new college in the 2015-16 academic year.
“Handling so many colleges is becoming difficult for the university. Hence, the perspective plan says there will be no new college in the next academic year,” said a senior university official.
Currently, there are over 700 colleges affiliated to MU. The plan document also talks about skill-based programmes in the existing colleges to make students employable. The plan, however, will need the approved of the academic council and the university senate.
The government had appointed three committees of higher education in 2010, of which one was mandated to look at the “sub-division” of universities. Calling for immediate division of big universities, the committee had recommended that Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur universities should immediately have a main campus/sub-centres or campuses in the suburbs and districts.
“A large number of students and affiliated colleges have created a huge workload of administrative, affiliation and evaluation functions, which has resulted in lowering the level of curricula, their relevance and modern nature, and on the whole reduced…quality and standards of students…The basis of sub-division is not on numbers but the need for quality and relevance of higher education, both for PG and UG courses,” the report said.
Academicians from MU said the National Knowledge Commission had also suggested having one university for every 150 affiliated colleges and that the state government needed to seriously consider such recommendations.
While the committees had submitted their reports in 2011, a fourth group reviewed the recommendations later and submitted a report suggesting a roadmap. The state government is, however, yet to take any action on the reports.
“A new government will be elected in the state after the Assembly elections, so no one really knows the fate of these reports,” said a Mumbai University faculty member.