August 13, 2016 12:56:57 am
Some of the top colleges in the city are now looking at the possibility of losing out on crores in grants from the University Grants Commission (UGC), after some changes were introduced by the apex body in its policy. In the most recent case, Fergusson College and Modern College are trying to make it to the list of College of Excellence (CE) which will fetch a grant of Rs 2 crore.
The hitch is that most top colleges are composite colleges, having both junior and senior colleges. However, the UGC has now mandated that composite colleges will not get funds under CE scheme and College with Potential for Excellence (CPE) scheme which grants Rs 1 crore.
“Until last year, the UGC was considering composite colleges for the scheme. We had got CPE status in 2011 for a period of five years. In May, we decided to apply for CE, since we had good performance over two periods of CPE status. However when we went to New Delhi for the presentation, we were clearly told that since we were a composite college, we would not be considered. The concern is that the funds allotted would be utilised for junior colleges. This decision puts colleges in our state at a disadvantage. Since 1976, the Maharashtra government is approving composite colleges, and as far as we know, this situation is unique to our state,” said Dr Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, principal of Fergusson College.
As per the rules of the UGC, for CPE and CE schemes, if a college is a composite college, it should take immediate steps to delink the plus-2 courses. On provisional recommendation to be included under the CPE scheme, it has to confirm in writing that the delinking took place.
“As soon as we came back from New Delhi, we wrote to the state government and the university authorities, requesting that the junior college section be detached from the senior college. However we got no reply. We have been given to understand that the state thinks it would bring additional financial burden but that is not the case. The vice principal of the senior college can be designated as principal of junior college, the office staff can be divided and the salaries and laws governing the two sections are different already,” said Dr Rajendra Zunjarrao, principal of Modern College, Shivaji Nagar.
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De-linking the junior colleges was desirable as well, said former senate member and principal of C T Bora College in Shirur, Nandkumar Nikam. “It means less burden on the teaching and non-teaching staff and the college infrastructure. We had even passed a resolution in the university a few years ago and sent it to state government but no action has been taken in this regard.”
However, it is not just the funds under CPE or CE scheme which principals are worried about.
“CPE is just one of the schemes of the UGC under which it gives funds. Supposing if the UGC applies the same formula to all its grants, including the 12th plan, then we are in serious trouble,” said Zunjarrao.
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