University of Mysore granted Grade-2 Autonomy Status

Misses Grade-1 status by just 0.3 score; UoM can now start new courses

Mysuru: The University of Mysore (UoM) has been listed to get full autonomy by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the category where institutions were selected based on the scores awarded by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) points between 3.26 and 3.50. This is the only State University in Karnataka to be awarded the autonomy status.

According to the official sources from UGC, after getting this status, there is no need for the institutions to approach UGC for approval to start new courses.

Speaking to Star of Mysore here this morning, University of Mysore In-charge Vice-Chancellor Prof. T.K. Umesh said though it was heartening that the University had got autonomy status, the disappointment still remained, as it lost the Grade-1 status by just 0.3 points by scoring 3.47.

Asked what the difference was, he said that if the scoring was 3.50 and above, then the University would have enjoyed complete autonomy status where there would have been no Geographical jurisdiction. Here without taking permission from UGC or any other institution any course could have been offered.  

“We would  also have had the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, give incentive based emoluments to the faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run Open Distance Learning programmes,” he said.

However, in Grade-2 Category, there is a Geographical jurisdiction and in our case we have to restrict to the four districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, and Chamarajanagar.

Another reason is, unlike in Grade-1 Category, the University of Mysore cannot offer Open Distance Learning (ODL) programmes. “We had done a very good presentation about two months ago in UGC office in Delhi regarding seeking approval for ODL as it always helps us generate more resources. We had even proposed setting up of Distance Education Cell (DEC) which could coordinate for all the programmes being offered. But to our dismay, the UGC refused to grant permission,” said Prof. Umesh.

When asked for the reason for the refusal, he said that one strong reason could be the proximity of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), which is offering ODL programmes.

However, he pointed out that Mangalore University had been granted permission to start ODL, while Bangalore University which was offering good programmes at it Jnanabharathi Campus and doing well had also been rejected.

The high points of even the Grade-2 Category status was that there was academic autonomy to start new programmes like for instance the Organic Chemistry Department which has been started. Besides, the NAAC grading is now for a period of seven years and as the University already enjoys ‘A’  Grade status it need not go back to NAAC frequently for grading, he said and added that however, in such a grade the State Government could still interfere as its decision is final.

Delay for new VC appointment continues

It is more than 18 months since the University of   Mysore saw a regular Vice-Chancellor. In these 18 months there have already been four In-charge VCs and the current VC Prof. T. K Umesh’s tenure is ending next month. But the delay in appointing a new VC has continued.

Sources in the University said that they are not sure when it will happen. The question that remains to be answered is whether a new Search Committee to select the new VC will be formed afresh or the old one will continue.

“Though the Government nominee Sahana Shivappa is there as the Syndicate Member, the other members appointed by the previous Congress Government have been removed. But still, there is sufficient quorum to select a new Syndicate nominee for the Search Committee. However, the government is mum and the period of uncertainty has continued. Added to this, is the model code of conduct that has come into force because of the Urban Local Bodies elections. Only when the elections are over can the process of selecting a new VC begin,” said the source.