A Human Resource Development committee headed by Prof Yashpal has suggested to the HRD Ministry that colleges that have achieved excellence in teaching and research can get statutory status by an act of Parliament to enable them to grant degrees.
“The idea is to give greater academic freedom to colleges and empower them to award degrees. They will not be full-fledged universities. But they will have the power to award degrees,” a source said.
The Yashpal Committee has pointed out that there are more than 20,000 colleges in India out of which around 1,500 of the colleges can easily be upgraded to the level of universities.
A ministry source revealed that the committee will suggest to the ministry whether the colleges will have to apply to the central government for the status or the ministry will identify deserving institutions and take steps to give them statutory powers.
The idea is that these institutions will become full-fledged universities over a period of time.
Prof. M. Anandkrishnan, who is a member of the Yashpal committee, said “Our recommendation was that any college, whether it is private or a central government institution or a state government organisation, should be given power to award degrees if its performance in teaching and research is good.”
However, there are experts who have criticized the move. Chairperson of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Gwalior, M.N. Buch said this will lead to creation of another set of institutions like deemed universities.
“The idea does not seem convincing. If a college has the potential for excellence, it should be upgraded to a full-fledged university. What is the rationale for making it a degree-granting institution but not a university? This means these institutions will be like deemed universities. It may not augment quality,” he said.
Presently, only universities, set up by Parliament and state legislatures, and deemed universities, created under the UGC Act, can award degrees.
[Source: The Telegraph]
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