The draft of the ordinance is getting the final vetting and is about to be placed in the state cabinet anytime soon for its approval.
The ordinance, say sources, is likely to address amicably several issues cited by the state higher education committee in a report on the strained relationship between universities and autonomous institutions. A committee had pointed out several factors that keep universities and autonomous institutions, especially in private sector, at logger heads. It had also suggested several remedial measures that would address the genuine concerns raised by the autonomous institutions as well as the universities.
The council had appointed the committee following widespread complaints against certain practices in vogue in autonomous institutions in private sector and its fall out on the academic atmosphere, relationship with students as universities.
With the new changes adopted by University Grants Commission regulations, the state government and universities concerned can do very little to effectively resist a meritorious institute from earning academic autonomy, point out sources in higher education sector. “The LDF government in the state is also very much aware of the new reality and hence must want to make changes in the university laws for accommodating the rightful demands of autonomous institutions. They can no longer blindly oppose academic autonomy of higher education institutions. Even if they oppose, UGC can grant autonomy.”, sources pointed out.
Universities act at present do not have clear cut provisions on how to deal with academic autonomy and autonomous institutions. The ordinance is expected to fill this void. Before preparing the draft copy of the ordinance, the state government had held discussions with autonomous college management.
The ordinance is expected to make provisions that would make separate bodies in the university level that would process various applications of autonomous institutions in a time bound manner. The major complaint raised by the college management was the delay on the university’s part in processing their applications regarding new courses. The ordinance also might have provisions for students’ grievance committee and student, teacher representation in various bodies in autonomous colleges. At present, there are 22 autonomous colleges in the state.