'Higher edn warrants more autonomy'

Delivering the keynote address at a national-level seminar-cum-workshop on ‘Autonomy: Concept, Issues and Challenges’ organised jointly by St Aloysius College and St Agnes College at the Eric Mathias Hall of St Aloysius College here on Saturday, Anandakrishnan said that new and bold guidelines needed to provide a basis for initiating concrete autonomy measures. “The successful implementation of the autonomy concept requires willing and honest participation of the students, teachers and management. The facilities for carrying out the autonomous functions such as innovations in curricular content, systems of examination and evaluation, teaching methods, supplementary learning, etc. require not only sufficient financial resources but also the continuous training and upgradation of teachers,” he observed adding that a system of academic audit at every step of the implementation of the autonomy should be acceptable to all parties concerned.

“At the core of the autonomy concept is the decentralised management culture. The delegation of responsibility with accountability for the academic as well as the associated management functions is essential for the success of autonomy. Incentives needed to overcome hesitations on the part of colleges to undertake the decentralised responsibilities,” he said.

Availability of the necessary power to the institution to decide on the changes in curricula and teaching methods are some of the merits of the autonomy, he added.

In his address, Bangalore University former Vice-Chancellor Dr N R Shetty said that there is a need for reformation in the higher education sector in our nation.

Talking about autonomy, he said, “once colleges were declared autonomous, all programmes in such colleges will also be autonomous.”

St Agnes College Managing Committee Joint Secretary Dr M Olivia, Principal Dr Marie Prem D’Souza, St Aloysius Institutions Rector Fr Joseph Rodrigues, St Aloysius College Principal Fr Swebert D’Silva, Registrar Prof Narahari spoke on the theme.

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