**Bhubaneswar:** In a significant development, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday approved full autonomy for 62 higher educational institutions, including JNU, BHU amongst others which have maintained high standards of excellence.
Out of these 62, four educational institutions from Odisha have been granted full autonomy in academic and administrative decision-making for maintaining high standards of excellence based on NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) scores. This includes Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, National Law University, Cuttack, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar and Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan, Bhubaneswar.
The decision came in the UGC meeting where five central universities, 21 state universities, 26 private universities besides 10 other colleges were granted autonomy under the Autonomous Colleges Regulation.
Union Human resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar called this UGC move historic, which will enable the selected institutes to decide their admission procedure, fee structure and curriculum, among others.
Javadekar told reporters that it is a historic day for higher education in India. These quality institutions will get complete autonomy by which they can start new courses, new departments, new programmes, off campuses, skill courses, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, take foreign students, offer variable incentive packages, introduce online distance learning.
He also added that these institutes can also get into academic collaboration with top five hundred universities of the world. They will not have to come to the regulator again and again for seeking permission because they have maintained quality and achieved a benchmark of 3.26 and above NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) ranking. The central universities which have been granted autonomy include–Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), University of Hyderabad and the English and Foreign Languages University, Telangana.
The state universities which have been granted the autonomous status are Jadavpur University, Andhra University, Algappa University, National University of Law, Utkal University, Kurukshetra University, Osmania University, Guru Nanak Dev University, University of Jammu, University of Mysore, Anna University, Panjab University and University of Madras, among others.
OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat and Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, Gujarat are among the private institutions selected by the UGC for the autonomous status.