Calcutta, Nov. 23: For the first time in its 147-year history, Calcutta University today changed its statutes to bring self-financed private undergraduate colleges under its ambit.
The amendment was approved at a special meeting of the senate, the highest body in the university for approving decisions concerning amendment of statutes.
'Today's decision is a great beginning for us. This will provide a lot of scope for expansion of undergraduate education in our university,' said Shyamapada Pal, a senior senate member who is also part of the West Bengal Council of Higher Education.
The university usually recognises only government-assisted undergraduate colleges. At present, nearly 200 state-aided colleges are affiliated to the university.
'Ours is the first university in the state that changed its statute to affiliate fully self-financed colleges,' Pal added.
The senate decision will be sent to governor Viren. J. Shah, the chancellor, for assent, a routine exercise before any amendment is implemented.
Once the assent is received, at least four self-financed colleges in and around the city will be able to immediately start BA, BSc, BCom, BEd and LLb courses approved by the university.
'A self-financed college in Howrah is ready to start functioning. Once we receive the governor's assent, the institution will be able to open BCom and BA courses from the current academic session,' said an official.
The four colleges had moved the university after the government announced its decision to allow universities to affiliate self-financed colleges.
Varsities like Burdwan and Kalyani have already given their nod to self-financed colleges, but they have not changed their statutes.
'Students studying courses in the self-financed colleges under Calcutta University will benefit more because we will be granting affiliation to the private colleges after amending the statute. The amendment will enable students to avoid legal complications in future,' Pal pointed out.
The senate today also laid out certain regulations, which the private colleges must meet to be eligible for affiliation.
'The university will grant affiliation to the colleges only if they strictly abide by all the conditions,' an official said.
The conditions relate to constitution of governing bodies, recruitment of teachers, fixing fee structure and maintaining annual audit reports.
The university stipulated a ratio of elected representatives of teachers, non-teaching staff, students, university and government in the governing bodies of the colleges. Moreover, the colleges will have to abide by the norms for selecting teachers in state-aided colleges while recruiting.
In addition, they have to take permission whenever they want to hike tuition and other fees and submit annual audit reports to the university.