Indian Streams Research Journal's
Search :
News Details :
35% of India's autonomous colleges in TN
published on : 17/07/2013
Category : University Grant Commission
CHENNAI: More than 35% of the autonomous colleges in the country are in Tamil Nadu. In a recently released report "Indian higher education - quest for excellence," the University Grants Commission identified 441 autonomous colleges, including 155 from TN, across 21 states. The idea of partially delinking colleges from the affiliating structure of universities and promoting autonomy was to allow institutions to design their own curricula, prescribe syllabi, evolve pedagogy and appropriate assessment techniques to improve the quality of undergraduate education. But, many are sceptic about whether the purpose has been served in the state. "There are so many autonomous colleges in TN because the state is considered a testing lab for any new academic reform," said All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation vice-president S Vivekanandan. "But, they are not all autonomous in the true sense of the word." The academic environment is not as vibrant as one would expect. Many deemed universities have done a better job of revamping curricula to suit market needs and update them regularly. He said autonomous colleges were given administrative, academic and financial freedom to a certain extent, but, often, much of it is curtailed. "The nomination of members to the governing council depends on whether the person is liked by the management or not," Vivekanandan added. A former principal of Chennai's Presidency College, one of the oldest autonomous colleges in the state, agrees. R Sabanayagam said that during his nine months as principal he found that "heads of autonomous colleges in the state have no power to bring in change". When he tried to impose a rule requiring a minimum of 50% attendance for students to sit for exams in Presidency College, the director of collegiate education asked him to postpone the decision to the next semester, he said. Even to renovate the college infrastructure, which was falling apart, funds from the UGC were first sent to the department of higher education and had to be sourced through the PWD. Others, like Loyola College have had better luck in making academic changes to improve the quality of education. The UGC has said TN is also second on the list of states that get the highest departmental research support from the UGC, after Andhra Pradesh.
Related Keywords :
Autonomous college Tamil Nadu