Thiruvananthapuram: Strong resistance from teachers and students’ unions at government-run colleges has forced the UGC to shun government colleges and grant autonomous status to more aided colleges in the state.
This academic year, the UGC granted autonomy to seven colleges besides the 12 autonomous colleges.
Changanassery Assumption College, Kottayam CMS College, Kothamangalam Mar Athanasius College, Kuttikkanam Marian College, Ernakulam St Alberts College, Irinjalakuda St Joseph’s College and Thrissur Vimala College were given autonomous status this academic year.
The only college which was granted autonomy from the government sector is Ernakulam Maharajas College. The state government had recommended autonomy for Thalassery Brennen College, Thiruvananthapuram University College, Palakkad Victoria College and Chittur Government College.
However, when the UGC team arrived for inspection, unions of teachers and students raised opposition to the move. They were unable to complete the official formalities due to protest.
The move was part of the Centre’s decision to give autonomous status to 10 percent of the colleges in the country. The guidelines for an autonomous college require the faculty to have a research degree. It also has other strict criteria to ensure academic excellence.
Tamil Nadu has the highest number of autonomous colleges in the country at 172 followed by Andhra Pradesh (130) and Karnataka (65). UGC has until now granted autonomy to 575 colleges in the country of which 164 are in the government sector.