The University Grants Commission (UGC) has amended the college autonomous guidelines following the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which proposed for more autonomy to higher educational institutions. The UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations 2022 once approved will replace the 2018 regulations.
According to the UGC regulations 2022, the colleges can now apply directly for autonomous status. “The parent (affiliated) university will examine the application of the college for autonomous status on UGC portal and give its recommendations along with reasons/justification, within 30 days on UGC portal,” mentioned the UGC draft regulations.
The University has to respond within 30 days on the UGC portal, if not, it will be assumed that university has no objection. The eligibility criteria in the new regulations remain same; the applicant colleges must have at least 10 years of existence and should be credited with a minimum A grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council or by National Board of Accreditation for at least three programmes, with a minimum score of 675.
The autonomous status will allow colleges to have their own admission rules, design syllabus and courses. The colleges can also extend the autonomous status if they have A certification from the NAAC, while the colleges with 15 years of autonomous status can get the permanent status and will no longer have to apply for extensions.
The autonomous colleges can able to start their new certificate and diploma courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate programmes without the affiliating university’s approval. According to UGC Chairman Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, “these regulations provide freedom to the autonomous colleges to determine and prescribe their own courses of study and syllabi, and restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs, make it skill oriented and in consonance with the job requirements.”
There are around 500 autonomous colleges in the country.