As per the perspective plan for higher education in the state, the university has approval for 60 new colleges
The government prepares a higher education perspective plan every year based on requirement of colleges in different localities. While last year’s perspective plan did not allow any new college to open, this year many slots have opened up. They have also indicated that more students want to pursue law over other professional courses. Experts point at the changing look of a career in law from the courtroom to corporate sector, as a reason for this increasing demand. While Mumbai University has approval from the state government for 60 new colleges in the plan, 125 applications for them have been forwarded to the state government.
An educationist said the 60 new colleges have been finalised looking at demands for certain courses as well as requirement of certain streams in certain localities. File picture
The registrar of the university, Dr M A Khan, confirming the new applications said, “There are total 125 applications from different organisations to begin new colleges. But as per this year’s perspective plan for higher education in Maharashtra, Mumbai has approval to have 60 new colleges. Among these, there can be 40 colleges running courses affiliated to the university such as Arts, Commerce, Science, Law, etc.”
When asked how these requirements have been finalised, Dr Khan said, “The perspective plan studies the requirement of certain courses, their demand and allows new colleges in certain streams. Last year’s perspective plan of higher education did not see the requirement of colleges. This year’s plan has opened spots for certain streams. However for engineering and Bachelor of Education course there is zero approval, considering no demand while seats in existing colleges are going vacant.” Khan also said the university strictly inspected all the applications to be forwarded to state government for final approvals.
Certain faculties in certain localities
Senior educationists Dr T A Shivare, Director of Hinduja College, opined, “have been finalised looking at demands for certain courses as well as requirement of certain streams in particular localities. For example, traditional colleges – for arts, science, commerce - are mostly coming up only in Palghar which is a new district, and has a big tribal population and requires basic higher education options. Law colleges are mostly opening up in city localities because students here are more inclined toward this professional course. It has become a corporate career with all companies having legal experts attached.”
A principal of an engineering college in Navi Mumbai, reacting to decreasing demand for the course, said, “The demand in engineering is anyway ever changing considering the market trends. There are years when you will see souring demand for electronics and telecommunication engineering. In some other years it will be least preferred stream of engineering. This has made it difficult for colleges to sustain successfully in striving competitions. We already are seeing colleges not only facing vacancies but also shutting down.”
Dr. Rashmi Oza, HoD of law at the Mumbai University said, “Several are willing to pursue law course. Not only with an objective of higher education, but several citizens as well are willing to learn the subject for personal knowledge. Moreover the market trend is changing. Studying law is no longer just taking up court cases or entering academics. It has taken a much corporate look compared to its age-old single career path of courtroom. Different new branches such as intellectual property rights, specialized legal departments etc. are opening up new career avenues.”
Proposed new colleges as per the perspective plan:
>> Arts, Science, Commerce: 13
>> Law: 11
>> Night colleges: 7
>> Women’s colleges: 7
>> Fine Arts colleges: 6
>> Architecture colleges: 6
>> Pharmacy: 5
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