60 New Colleges To Be Included Under Savitribai Phule Pune University

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Pune, 20th February 2024: The Maharashtra State government has given prima facie approval to Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) for the establishment of 60 new colleges, issuing a letter of intent to proceed. However, these colleges are required to meet specific criteria set by the government and must submit all relevant documents by January 31, 2025, before they are authorized to admit students.

Parag Kalkar, the pro-vice-chancellor of SPPU, clarified that according to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, various entities such as political organizations, social groups, gram panchayats, NGOs, etc., have the right to apply for opening a new college, provided that no other institutions offer the same course within a 5-km radius. Stringent conditions and guidelines are in place to ensure compliance.

Upon receiving the necessary approvals, these newly sanctioned colleges may commence operations from the upcoming academic year or the subsequent one. Kalkar noted the imminent need for amendments in the Act concerning the opening of new colleges and courses, particularly in light of the New Education Policy (NEP) implementation.

As one of the largest universities in the country, SPPU has faced scrutiny regarding the potential decline in quality due to the substantial burden of affiliated colleges. Experts point out that the university operates with limited staff, a situation determined based on student population data from a decade ago. Despite a significant increase in the number of students, sanctioned posts have not been adjusted accordingly, and many positions remain vacant.

Insufficient staff and resources hinder the university’s ability to effectively administer and monitor the functioning of every affiliated college. The examination department, too, is overburdened due to these limitations. Experts argue that the lack of monitoring creates opportunities for misuse by individuals or managements, ultimately impacting the quality of education provided. Students are the ones most affected by these challenges, highlighting the constraints faced by a university with limited means to ensure and uphold educational quality.