The plan “2016-17 & Beyond” highlights this high-pitch proposal under the subhead, “Break-up of the University into several ones UoM1, UoM2 et al”.
After years of rumours and high-level recommendations, the “exceedingly large” University of Mumbai is finally thinking about breaking itself into several small parts – on the lines of Paris University, which was broken into 13 smaller varsities following a huge civic unrest in the country in 1968. Reason: Largeness and heterogeneity due to which management of the varsity has become a “nightmare”. And it is beyond improvement, “even after using IT and digital platforms”. The plan “2016-17 & Beyond” highlights this high-pitch proposal under the subhead, “Break-up of the University into several ones UoM1, UoM2 et al”. “It will perhaps be in the interest of all concerned and most importantly in the interest of higher education at large to break up the university. To provide a link to and honour the University of Mumbai, the nomenclature could be UoM1, UoM2, et al, following the practice in other places, such as the University of Paris,” read the perspective plan document, which was made public last week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The document states, “There are persuasive reasons why a university like ours, which is exceedingly large, needs to be broken up into several small parts. Currently, the sheer magnitude creates a management nightmare. The problem will still remain even if one were to use IT and digital techniques.” The university has over 750 affiliated colleges spread over six districts – Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Sindhudrug and Ratnagiri. It caters to over eight lakh students with skewed resources and often faces flak for a series of fiascos, botch-up examinations and delayed results. To start with, the varsity proposes to create more sub-campuses with a clearly defined role and “finally help them break-away as universities in their own right” for a balanced regional development. In 1970, the Paris university was divided into 13 autonomous universities. The newly created universities were numbered Paris 1, Paris 2 and so on. They also adopted names such as Pantheon Sorborne University, Pantheon Assas University and Paris Sorbornne University. There have been demands from various quarters to divide the MU for better management, with state government mulling over the proposal for the last four years, after the Kakodkar committe recommended the moves. Anil Patil, director of Board of Colleges and University Development, who was also the chairman of the 23-member committee that formulated the perspective plan, said, “This is the vision document that we intend to implement in future, if the need arises and that too in consultation with the state government. As of now, we are just planning more sub-campuses with greater power and autonomy. Jalgaon and Solapur Universities were also carved out from the Pune University.”
Also on cards: *Opening of five government engineering colleges in Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts*Four-year integrated programme for BA-BEd, BSc- BEd*A women’s college and a women’s law college*Three different categorisations – weak, reasonable and excellent affiliate collegesAlso, from 2016-17, the university plans to offer degree courses in bamboo and canned industry, oceanography and marine biology through Sindhu Swadhyay Sanstha. Two-year associate degree courses in safety and fire management courses at community colleges of industrial belt, diploma courses in music and dance and certificate course in sports management through distance education are among other programmes.