St. Xavier’s College will continue to vie for university status despite being granted the power to award degrees as part of an upgrade plan by the human resource development (HRD) ministry.
The college was among 45 autonomous institutions invited by the ministry to discuss the upgrade proposal at a meeting in Delhi on Monday.
“St. Xavier’s university, for which the college has applied, is independent of the college. So we are going to follow up with the state government on that proposal separately,” said Father Felix Raj, the principal of St. Xavier’s College.
The Calcutta college’s request for university status was cited as an example by HRD ministry officials at the meeting for colleges interested in becoming state-level universities.
Representatives of several colleges present at the meeting raised questions about the upgrade proposal. They stressed the need for clarification on the concept of autonomy so that colleges can work towards improving equity, excellence and accessibility.
Once the HRD ministry finalises the upgrade plan, St. Xavier’s will consider applying for the status of deemed or central university. “We will definitely consider applying for upgrade in consultation with the HRD ministry and state government,” Felix Raj said.
The college is at present studying the draft bill drawn up by the state government. It has proposed a public-private partnership model and will discuss it with the government.