UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION
Scheme of Autonomous College
Highlighting the importance of autonomous colleges, the UGC document on the XI Plan profile of higher education in India clearly states that: “The only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the link most of the colleges from the affiliating structure. Colleges with academic and operative freedom are doing better and have more credibility. The financial support to such colleges boosts the concept of autonomy.”
Need for Autonomy
The affiliating system of colleges was originally designed when their number in a university was small. The university could then effectively oversee the working of the colleges, act as an examining body and award degrees on their behalf. The system has now become unwieldy and it is becoming increasingly difficult for a university to attend to the varied needs of individual colleges. The colleges do not have the freedom to modernize their curricula or make them locally relevant. The regulations of the university and its common system, governing all colleges alike, irrespective of their characteristic strengths, weaknesses and locations, have affected the academic development of individual colleges. Colleges that have the potential for offering programmes of a higher standard do not have the freedom to offer them. The 1964-66 Education Commission pointed out that the exercise of academic freedom by teachers is a crucial requirement for development of the intellectual climate of our country. Unless such a climate prevails, it is difficult to achieve excellence in our higher education system. With students, teachers and management being co-partners in raising the quality of higher education, it is imperative that they share a major responsibility. Hence, the Education Commission (1964-66) recommended college autonomy, which, in essence, is the instrument for promoting academic excellence.
The National Policy on Education (1986-92) formulated the following objectives for autonomous colleges. An autonomous college will have the freedom to:
- Determine and prescribe its own courses of study and syllabi, and restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs; and
- Prescribe rules for admission in consonance with the reservation policy of the state government;
- Evolve methods of assessment of students? performance, the conduct of examinations and notification of results;
- Use modern tools of educational technology to achieve higher standards and greater creativity; and
- Promote healthy practices such as community service, extension activities, projects for the benefit of the society at large, neighborhood programmes, etc
Autonomy to Sahyadri Science College
Sahyadri Science College in pursuit of offering quality education in the region of Malnad, has been striving hard to meet the ever changing requirements of contemporary education. The college was accorded autonomous status in 2005 and was effective from the academic year 2006-07. The autonomous status was continued for the second term and is valid upto 2016-17.