Split varsities for easy ops: UGC

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: May 9 2012, 15:23pm hrs
Reform universityAs a radical reform measure to reduce the number of affiliations by universities.
As a radical reform measure to reduce the number of affiliations by universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended that such institutions be split into smaller units. The scheme would incentivise states to implement reforms in the affiliation system so that universities are not overburdened due to affiliation of a large number of colleges to them.

An expert committee set up by the commission has recommended division of the existing state universities with large number of affiliated colleges into smaller universities, as separate non-affiliating multi-disciplinary universities and as exclusive affiliating universities with limited number of colleges affiliated to them.

At present, there are 289 state universities in the country of which more than half have 300-1,000 affiliated colleges. Interestingly, 90% of the undergraduate students, 70% of the post-graduate students and 80% of the faculty members are from the affiliated colleges.

The load of the affiliating system on the universities is so much that there is no time for academic productivity. We have recommended this after taking into account the regional sentiments associated with the education system, said SP Thyagarajan, former vice-chancellor of Madras University and chairman of the 12-member committee which authored the report on affiliation reforms.

Consider this. While Bangalore University has 900 affiliated colleges, Osmania University has more than 1,000. To ease the load on such universities, the committee has recommended that the maximum number of colleges to be affiliated to any university in the country should be limited to 100 and that the aim of an affiliated college should be to develop into a unitary university or an autonomous college.

The committee has also suggested that all central and state universities in the country could have 5-10 constituent, autonomous colleges, to be mentored by the parent university as model colleges so that they can be role models for other affiliated colleges.

Weve suggested such universities be made independent and follow the Western model where some universities do not have affiliated colleges at all. In such cases the university concerned may have several campuses, as in the case of the University of California, the University of Edinburgh or the University of Melbourne, Thyagarajan said.