Xavier's becomes Mumbai's first autonomous college

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Mumbai:  The prestigious St Xavier's College in Mumbai has become the first institution under Mumbai University to have been granted autonomy by the University Grants Commission (UGC), officials said on Friday.

According to University officials, the autonomy will be implemented in phases starting from this academic year and the college will have freedom to have its own curriculum and hold exams in a semester-based system.

Following the UGC approval on May 31, the college will offer a curriculum prepared by its faculty and will adopt a credit-based semester system, St Xavier's Principal Fr Frazer Mascarenhas said.

There will be two semesters per year and the system will allow multi-disciplinary studies with a strong foundation course, he added.

Regarding exams, the principal said 60 per cent will be given to semester end exams and 40 per cent to a continuous evaluation process including seminars, presentations and other assignments.

There are 600 colleges under the Mumbai University. H R College here was also granted autonomy by UGC three years back but it did not implement it.

Ramnarain Ruia in Matunga had applied for autonomy along with St Xavier's in 2007 but Ruia requested the university to alter its rules regarding the statutory composition of the governing council of autonomous colleges.

Principal of Ruia College Dr Suhas Pednekar said if the Clause 612 of the University of Mumbai Act was not changed then the college management would lose its autonomy in the process.

Clause 612 prescribes that an autonomous institution must be governed by 11-member board, with five members from the college management and six from various state and central government agencies and teachers.

The UGC has been asking all colleges in the country to become autonomous to improve the standard of education.

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