|St. Xavier’s College
St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, will now be able to award degrees under a proposal approved by the human resource development (HRD) ministry on Monday.
The college is among 45 institutions across the country that will benefit from the decision.
A meeting between the principals of the 45 colleges and officials of the HRD ministry approved three models for upgrade to enable the institutions to award degrees. The upgrade has been planned in recognition of the colleges’ outstanding quality.
The upgrade options are becoming a state university with a one-time grant of Rs 55 crore from the Centre, or a deemed university, or a college with the power to grant degrees.
Among the 45 colleges, 11 are from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Karnataka, nine from Andhra Pradesh, five from Madhya Pradesh, three from Maharashtra, two from Rajasthan and one each from Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Pondicherry.
St. Xavier’s College became the state’s first autonomous college in 2006 — a status that has allowed it to revamp its curriculum and courses — but students of the 152-year-old institution continue to get Calcutta University degrees.
At present, only universities set up by Parliament or state legislature or institutions conferred with deemed university status by the HRD ministry are able to grant degrees to students.
The UGC Act will be amended to incorporate a provision allowing colleges with potential for excellence and an A grade from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to grant degrees, HRD officials said.
“This is a good move. It will reduce the burden on the affiliating universities and give more freedom to the institutions to design new courses,” former UGC secretary R.K. Chauhan said.
“It may be worthwhile to give them such power since they have established quality in teaching,” said Deepak Pental, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University said.