Colleges under universities
There are two types of affiliated colleges: government colleges, and privately managed colleges. The colleges offer mostly undergraduate courses, though some of them also have introduced postgraduate courses in selected subjects. Most of the affiliated colleges offer courses in arts, science and commerce. In addition, there are also technology, management, education, law. The government colleges constitute about 15-20% of the total. They are managed by the State Governments concerned. As many as, about 70% of the colleges, have been established by privately managed trusts or societies. Nearly 33% of these colleges are located in rural areas. However, many of them are non-viable because of low level of enrolment. The management committees of the private colleges are constituted according to the norms laid down by the statutes of the university concerned.
Their relationship with the university is also defined by the respective university act and statutes. Though established through private initiative, many of them now receive considerable financial support from the concerned State Governments. The power of granting affiliation to a college vests with the respective universities and is exercised in consultation with the State Governments. As stated earlier, like unitary universities, several affiliating universities also have university colleges as well as constituent colleges, which are managed by the university itself. The university to which colleges are affiliated lays down the courses of study, conducts their examinations and awards the degrees.
As regards professional colleges, a large number of them have been established by private trusts and societies. In the States of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of privately managed professional colleges. They do not receive any financial assistance from the State Governments. As a result, in almost all cases, they charge heavy fees to cover capital costs, recurring and other expenditures. However, a Supreme Court judgement had laid down a number of guidelines for admission and fees to be charged by such colleges.
Among the affiliated colleges, there is a special category called autonomous colleges. The national Policy of education (1996) had advocated granting autonomy to colleges and also to university departments with the object of bringing about decentralisation of academic administration, promoting innovation and ensuring higher standards. An autonomous college enjoys academic freedom to prescribe its own rules of admission, designing of curriculum, mode of conduct of examinations, and introduce innovations in determining the courses of study and evaluation. The affiliating universities accept the methodologies of teaching, evaluation and examination, course curriculum, etc., adopted by these colleges. However, the degrees are awarded by universities and the names of the colleges are mentioned in the diplomas. The National Policy of Education envisaged 500 autonomous colleges by 1995. However, as on 31 March 1999, there were only 123 autonomous colleges affiliated to 28 universities spread over eight States. They are mostly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has the largest number (55), which includes some of the oldest and best-known colleges like Loyola College, Presidency College, Madras Christian College and RK Mission Vivekananda College. The renewed effort of the UGC to grant this status to more number of colleges had met with stiff opposition from several universities.
Among the affiliated colleges are also the self-financing colleges. Some University departments too have introduced self-financing courses. As the name suggests, they survive on the money earned by collecting hefty tuition fees and other levies. The self-financing colleges, both for right and wrong reasons, are perceived as a source of profit for greedy entrepreneurs who capitalise on the large gap between demand and supply of seats in existing colleges. Whereas self-financing professional colleges affiliated to universities follow the same curricula and courses as are offered by public funded colleges, self-financing arts and science colleges, also affiliated to universities, prefer to offer, instead of conventional subjects, professional or quasi-professional courses such as business administration, bank management, company secretary-ship, biochemistry, microbiology, electronics, catering technology and hotel management, fashion design, computer science, visual communication. A brief account of such courses has been given in Chapter 51 (Vocational Education). In Tamil Nadu, during the last two decades a record number sot 140 such self-financing colleges have come into existence, because of the decision of the State government not to provide grants to new colleges. As against these, there are 120 private aided colleges and fewer than 70 government colleges.
Besides granting affiliation to colleges, many universities also recognise research institutions as centres for doctoral research where students can work for their Ph.D. degrees. Some research institutions are also considered as associate departments, which offer specialised programmes, e.g., the Central Food Technological Research Institute (Mysore), conducts M.Sc. (Food Technology) course and the Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute, Mysore conducts M.Sc. (Sericulture Technology) on behalf of Mysore University.
Erosion of the Affiliation System
The system of affiliation seems to have been diluted over time, as would be evident from many admission advertisements appearing in newspapers. Many institutions offering professional courses, mostly in management and computer fields, relate themselves to universities and their “associate” and “approved” institutions or “approved study and examination centres”. Such institutions are often located outside the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned universities. In some cases, the institutions claim that their courses are approved by specific universities, although the awards are not necessarily university degrees. Some universities are also entering into franchise arrangements with private institutions for offering courses in different branches of management and computer science. A case in point is the Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya (Bhopal). It was established in 1990 aimed at developing “a national centre of teaching, training and research in Journalism and Mass Communication in Hindi. The university has franchised its Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) course to a large number of institutions throughout India. Several universities have also started indiscriminately franchising their correspondence courses in computer (BCA) and management (BBA). This has been discussed in chapter 6 (Learning from a distance). Several deemed universities have started establishing extension centres in different states.
A noticeable recent trend is universities entering into tie-up arrangement with well-known private computer institutions for launching specialised computer courses. For example, Bharathiar University (Coimbatore) has tied up with SSI to offer a two-year M.Sc. (Software Applications) course through distance learning mode. The Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalai University offers a course leading to Bachelor’s degree in Development and Information Technology (B.DIT.) in collaboration with Aptech. The Mysore University had also announced its tie-up arrangements with computer firms such as Aptech, CMC, C-DAC to offer a number of Information Technology courses.