Thiruvananthapuram: The College Union Chairman will be a part of the governing body in order to maintain the democratic nature of autonomous colleges, the draft ordinance approved by the cabinet stated. It also said that governing body should consist of representatives from the government, respective University and Higher Education Council.

This would enable autonomous colleges to maintain their academic independence while the universities can ensure their academic standards s well.

The draft ordinance also stated that an internal quality assurance cell should be formed to evaluate academic standards every year. An expert committee will also be formed to examine the quality of the institution that applies for autonomous status. There will also be a committee to resolve the complaints regarding fees and admission.

As per the ordinance, the College Principal, College Union Chairman and a member of the Parents Teachers Association should be a part of the students’ complaint redressal committee. The complaint has to be resolved in 14 days. The complainant can approach the Vice-Chancellor against the decision of the committee. The Vice-Chancellor has to address this issue within 60 days.

The regulations and ordinances of the affiliated universities will also be applicable for autonomous colleges. Any college can file an application for autonomous status with the affiliated university at any time of the year. The university should hand over the application to a 5-member expert committee within 7 days. This committee will have to examine the application and file a report with the Vice-Chancellor. This report should be handed over to UGC. If the Vice-Chancellor rejects the application, it has to be conveyed to the college and to the government. The college will be eligible to reapply the next year as well.

It is also mandated in the ordinance that the university should appoint a committee led by Pro Vice-Chancellor to examine applications filed for autonomous status, changing the curriculum and starting new programs.

Colleges that have been granted autonomous status will be evaluated each year and a report shall be submitted to the university and later to UGC, as per the ordinance.