Privatisation via graded autonomy- THE HINDU- 20 AUG'2020

Gs2- Education- New educational policy-Issue of autonomy in NEP

Arguments in favour of the provision:

The concerns of over-centralisation, leading to constraints imposed on the potential for premium affiliated colleges to innovate and evolve would be addressed by granting more autonomy.
This would also help reduce the potential for politico-bureaucratic interference in the internal functioning of universities and also lessen the burden on universities.


Granting increased autonomy could have adverse ramifications for accessibility, equity and quality for the higher education sector.


There are concerns that the graded autonomy system would only further deepen the prevailing hierarchy in higher education.
The article argues that while the best colleges would gain autonomy to bring in their own rules and regulations, and enjoy the benefits of special funds from the newly proposed funding agencies, the colleges with lower rankings face the threat of mergers and even closure. Such a development would make the gross enrolment ratio target tougher to achieve.


The new provision may lead to the possibility of enhanced inaccessibility of quality higher education.
The graded autonomy system envisages higher financing for better performing colleges and universities and this would lead to the shrinking of the number of public-funded colleges in the country. This will push out marginalised sections and relegate them to low-grade private colleges and/or to informal education.
Independent rules and regulations of autonomous colleges and universities shall curtail transparent admission procedures, which guarantee underprivileged students a share of seats in prestigious institutions.


The granting of autonomy to premium institutions should not affect the equity and accessibility to quality education and appropriate measures should be taken to address such concerns.

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