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UVCE Autonomous Committee submits Report to Govt

The State Government had constituted the high-level committee to submit a report on developing the UVCE into a ‘State Institute of Eminence’ and deliberate on upgrading University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) to make it at par with Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).The committee submitted the report to Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who is also the Minister for Higher Education, after a two-month assessment of the UVCE on July 24th, 2020.
Based on the various sources, here are some of the highlights:

  • In the 112-page report, the committee has recommended Complete autonomy to UVCE in the matters of finance, administration and academics. UVCE should be self-governing and work as an independent entity with “ownership” to be with the State government and Governor as the Visitor.
  • The report proposes that UVCE have two campuses, one at K.R. Circle and another at Jnana Bharathi.
  • It has recommended that Bangalore University allocate 100 acres to UVCE at Jnana Bharathi and suggested it be mentored by either IIT-Madras or the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
  • The committee has recommended seeking a grant of ₹500 crore from the government over the next two to three years to improve existing infrastructure and make provisions for digital infrastructure as well as online and distance learning.
  • It has recommended evolving a financial model to reduce dependency on the State Government for funds, by raising amounts through external sources (like Govt grants, alumni contribution, endowments and from research grants).
  • The report states that the UVCE’s financial budgeting should be made so robust that in a decade’s time, the institution should have at least Rs 700 crore at its disposal.
  • Tuition fee can be increased to 50% of IITs in one year and gradually to match 100% of fees in IITs in five years, said the report. The institution should follow a “need-blind” admission process as practised by other leading institutions to ensure availability of scholarships, income sharing agreement and loans so that the cost of education does not deter students.
  • It also recommended setting up a structure for the UVCE to autonomously decide on staff salaries, fees charged, and giving scholarships to talented students hailing from the economically weaker sections.
  • To ensure administrative autonomy for the UVCE, the report recommends an 11-member Governing Council with representation of three members each from the government, industries and education sector, besides two alumni from the institution.

The committee recommended 5 strategies for UVCE’s transformational change- Complete autonomy in finanical, academic and administrative matters; involving high quality faculty from India and abroad with research opportunities; engaging alumni and industry experts in teaching; redesigned curriculum to be decided by a committee of academia, alumni and industry with focus on innovation; infrastructure that fosters learning and innovation.

On behalf of UVCE Graduates Association and the entire UVCE alumni community, we congratulate the Committee on submitting the UVCE Development Report to the Govt. In spite of the Covid situation and many other challenges, we are extremely glad that the committee has not only met the mentioned deadline but also managed to interact with all the stake-holders and gathered their opinions as well. We would like to applaud for the effort and dedication.

Sources: The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Times of India

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