Expand Maha universities district-wise: Panel

A committee set up by Maharashtra Government to improve working of the public universities has recommended expansion of campuses at district places.

Mumbai: A committee set up by Maharashtra
Government to improve working of the public universities in
the state has recommended expansion and development of
campuses at district places which is likely to cost nearly Rs
4000 crore to the state exchequer.
It is necessary to develop 25 new university campuses
in districts where public university campuses do not exist at
present. The period of expansion should be between 5-10 years
and the exercise may start with the three big universities,
namely Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, the committee headed by Prof
Ram Takwale has said.

The panel has also recommended sub-division of
Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur universities into main campus and
sub-centres/campuses at suburbs and district places.

A similar proposal prepared by the state Higher and
Technical Education department was announced in the
Legislature last year. However, there has been no headway in
the matter.

According to the report, the main university campus
will function with all the central bodies and authorities for
promotion, coordination and quality assurance of all the
campuses of the university and its affiliated colleges.

The basis of sub-division will not be on numbers but
the need of quality and relevance of higher education both for
PG and UG courses and strongly linked with socio-economic
development of the district/region.
The committee has also recommended forming
sub-campuses at the undeveloped district places and create
campus facilities for quality education and development.

While selecting campus place for a new university
center, linkages with resources required for its creation and
development as well as industry nearness may also be taken
into consideration, besides the availability of large campus
area for development, the report said.

The university will also follow a policy of creating
large campuses with up-to-date research, PG and UG facilities.

Main university carries all the authority and
sub-campuses will have delegated autonomy with authorities for
efficient functioning and raising quality and relevance of
higher education in their learning, developing and social
transformation processes, it said.

The district campus of the university should be
created in each affiliating district of affiliating university
and function as an autonomous unit of the concerned university
successful with quality and excellence achievements.

The report further suggests creation of district-wise
university campuses and making all affiliating colleges
autonomous with a quest for raising their autonomy and
self-governance and achieving higher performance excellence.

Every university campus, existing and new, should have
about 500-1000 highly qualified and active research teachers
in their areas of studies and the total number of students
should be around 5000-10000 on the campus. They should carry
out UG, PG studies and research and development.

Instead of a new university for special purpose and
special region, we may start with the existing well
established autonomous university campuses to promote higher
education, the report added.


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