Autonomy for University Departments

The greatest threat to university autonomy is the University Grants Commission. Its plan is to tighten its own control over university departments by dealing directly with them rather than through the central university body The correct balance of power between the universities and the UGC, as a representative of the government and a major source of funds, has been difficult to achieve even in advanced liberal societies. In India the battle between the universities and the UGC is a very uneven one THE subject of university autonomy evokes strong feelings in anyone involved with universities, from the chairman of the University Grants Commission to members of the university karamcharis unions. Before making some points on autonomy, I wish to describe the functioning of a committee set up by the University Grants Commission to consider the question of autonomy for university departments. If we paid more attention to what actually goes on, perhaps we could prescribe more sensible reforms.

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