Over the past year, some colleges of repute under University of Calcutta have been granted autonomy in starting new courses, setting curriculum, conducting examinations, and suchlike.
This has meant that these institutes can now offer new undergraduate courses and design them at par with the latest trend in education. Those that are fortunate to have come out of university’s shackles include St. Xaviers College, Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur, and Loreto College among others.
There was talk that Presidency College too would be granted the same autonomy. In fact CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who studied in the prestigious college had said several times that this was going to happen soon.
Hopes are now belied. Presidency is not going to be freed from government shackles. This decision has been arrived at by an expert committee that was earlier appointed by the government to look into the matter.
The committee included eminent personalities like ex-RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, Bhabatosh Datta, Chittatosh Mukhopadhaya, Aseshprasad Mukhopadhaya, Barun De, Subimal Sen, and Pradipnarayan Ghosh, who all happened to be alumni of the college.
According to the committee’s report, which has been agreed to by the government, Presidency College will not have independence to decide on educational matters, though the college may be to the extent possible given free hand in financial and administrative matters.
Some things don’t change, even if it is presumably for the better.