The scheme of Autonomous Colleges is being implemented by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to provide autonomy to select colleges. This was stated by the Human Resources Development Minister, Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju in the Lok Sabha Today. As per the latest XIIth plan guidelines, once a college attains the status of an Autonomous College, it is entitled for following privileges: have freedom to determine and prescribe their own courses of study and syllabi, restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs; 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; promote healthy practices such as community service; extension activities, projects for the benefit of the society at large, neighbourhood programmes etc.
The following criteria are considered for identification of institutions for grant of autonomy, namely: academic reputation and previous performance in university examinations and its academic/co-curricular/extension activities in the past; academic/extension achievements of the faculty; quality and merit in the selection of students and teachers, subject to statutory requirements in this regard; adequacy of infrastructure, for example, library, equipment, accommodation for academic activities, etc.; quality of institutional management; National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) 'A' grade; financial resources provided by the management/state government for the development of the institution; responsiveness of administrative structure and motivation and involvement of faculty in the promotion of innovative reforms.
The UGC provides financial assistance to the tune of upto Rs. 15 lakhs for Undergraduate Colleges and Rs. 20 lakhs for PG and UG Colleges, eligible under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956 for UGC funding, apart from its regular grants. This assistance is provided for meeting the additional expenses on the following heads, namely: Guest /visiting faculty; Orientation and re-training of teachers; Re-designing courses and development of teaching/learning material; Workshop and seminars; Examination reforms; Office equipment, teaching aids and laboratory equipment; Furniture for office, classrooms, library and laboratories; Library equipment; books/journals; Expenditure on meetings of the governing body and committees; Honorarium to Controller of Examinations (full-time) not exceeding Rs. 8000/- p.m.; Accreditation (NAAC) fee; Renovation and repairs not leading to construction of a new building & Extension Activities.
As on date there are 455 autonomous colleges (affiliated to 87 universities) in 22 States in the country.
The scheme has been prepared by the UGC after due deliberations. The scheme is continuing since the fourth Five Year Plan and is reviewed by the UGC before deciding its continuation to the next Plan.
A total of 149 colleges have been granted autonomy during the XIth Five Year Plan. Out of 149 colleges granted autonomy during XIth Five Year Plan, 76 colleges were eligible for special autonomy grant. These colleges have been allocated a grant of Rs. 27.09 crores out of which Rs. 19.84 crores have been released.
The Minister gave this information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
Source: Press Information Bureau