St. Aloysius College seeks freedom in academic matters

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The Hindu

‘Autonomy means liberty to frame curriculum, prescribe courses of study’




Registration fee in Mangalore University termed discriminatory and exorbitant

‘Other autonomous colleges are also insisting on academic freedom’



MANGALORE: In response to a report that appeared in these columns on Tuesday, Swebert D’Silva, Principal, St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, and A.M. Narahari, Registrar of the college, have said that Mangalore University has raised two issues: the college is not following the regulations relating to autonomy and the registration fee has not been paid to the university.

Autonomy means freedom to frame curriculum, prescribe courses of study and adopt innovative evaluation strategies. This view has been upheld by the University Grants Commission, education commissions, expert reports and even courts. Academics have strongly advocated against the present affiliation system and wanted a few colleges of repute to be given the power of restructuring degrees, based on needs and relevance, they said in a statement.

Mangalore University is insisting that only the regulations of university be followed in prescribing courses of study and the examination system, thus leaving no scope for autonomous colleges to bring in qualitative changes.

The college has raised standards of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses by prescribing 40 per cent and 50 per cent respectively as the minimum for a pass. The internal evaluation system has been reframed with continuous assessment, transparency and objectivity. The results have come down slightly under the autonomous system. It only goes to prove that high standards have been maintained. The college has done the right thing in ensuring its autonomous status and will do everything possible to safeguard the interest of students, the statement said. Except the registration fee, the college has no objection to paying the new course affiliation fee, autonomous affiliation fee, university development fund, sports and cultural activities, career guidance, NSS fee, etc.

The principal objection against payment of registration fee is that the university does not lend any service to any autonomous college, even as the college has all the statutory bodies (powers), except issuing degree certificates. The university issues the certificates in the name of the respective autonomous college.

The registration fee is discriminatory and exorbitant. The registration fee is as high as Rs. 7,500 for a student for some of the courses. No university in the State is levying such high charges. The High Court of Karnataka, while issuing judgment in favour of four autonomous colleges in Bangalore, has clearly directed those colleges not to pay the registration fee to Bangalore University. In spite of this, Mangalore University is arm-twisting autonomous colleges to pay the registration fee.

The Higher Education Department has issued an order to Mangalore University to issue the convocation certificates to our students ( The Hindu report has quoted this order). The university is flouting this order by not admitting our students to the forthcoming convocation.

It is far from truth to claim that only St. Aloysius College is flouting the norms of the university. Four autonomous colleges are insisting that they be given freedom in academic matters. We have no intention to undermine the university system. We request Mangalore University to admit our students [to the convocation], the statement said.


Comments on this Article
Prof. M R Udupa, Chennai Wed, June-6-2012, 6:28
The Universities should encourage the established colleges to go for autonomy so that there will be ample opportunities for the candidates to pursue higher studies. These colleges should be guided with the common purpose of increasing the Gross Enrollment Ratio. St Aloysius College is one of the reputed old colleges in the twin districts under Mangalore University. It is the gathered information that the University is not helpful to the AUTONOMOUS colleges to execute their obligations. Five years back the UGC and the Government though granted Autonomous to 7 colleges, two of them rejected the offer for the reason best known to the University. It is felt that there are more than half-a-dozen colleges doing very well in the Districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada and they should be granted autonomous status. The University should come forward to encourage them with a common goal of imparting higher education to the talented youngsters of the region and the product graduates are employable with intellectual maturity. It is hoped that the authorities, including the learned members of the Academic Council and Syndicate will extend the helping hand without resorting to arm twisting.
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