Autonomy FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on






Highlighting the importance of autonomous colleges, the UGC document on the XII Plan profile of higher education in India clearly states that: “The only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the delink most of the colleges from the affiliating structure. Colleges with academic and operative freedom are doing better and have more credibility. The financial support to such colleges boosts the concept of autonomy.” It is proposed to increase the number of autonomous colleges to spread the culture of autonomy, and the target is to make 10 per cent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the XII Plan period

 1. What is autonomy?


Autonomy is a functional status given to the colleges, by the University Grants Commission and University. It provides greater flexibility towards purely academic development for upliftment of academic standards and excellence.


a)     At present Government / University provides only Academic Autonomy.

b)     Administration/Financial norms shall remain as per existing University system.

       c)     The Service conditions of faculty shall remain same as per existing University/UGC rules.

2. What is the need for autonomy?


(i)    The affiliating system of colleges was originally designed when their number in a university was small. The system has now become unwieldy and it is becoming increasingly difficult for a university to attend to the varied needs of individual colleges.


(ii)   In existing Affiliating system the colleges do not have the freedom to modernize their curricula or make them locally relevant.


(iii)   The regulations of the university and its common system, governing all colleges alike, irrespective of their characteristic strengths, weaknesses and locations, have affected the academic development of individual colleges.


(iv)   Colleges that have the potential for offering programmes of a higher standard do not have the freedom to modernize their curricula or make them locally relevant or globally competent.


(v)   The Education Commission (1964-66) recommended college autonomy, which, in essence, is the instrument for promoting academic excellence.


(vi)  Therefore Autonomy shall enable colleges who have academic excellence potential to award degrees on behalf of the university by providing more academic and operative freedom to function better with credibility. Freedom to modernize and revise curricula or make them more relevant for employability.


3.  What kind of autonomous status a college can avail?


As per the present norms of UGC and University, college can avail only the ACADEMIC Autonomy status not a financial or full autonomy.


  4.   What are the objectives of autonomy as per the National Policy on Education?
Or what kind of flexibility / freedom is available for autonomous college?


An autonomous college will have the freedom to:

(i)     Determine and prescribe its own courses of study and syllabi, and restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs;

(ii)    Offer student-centric wide choice in courses, wide range of electives and freedom in choice of courses.

(iii)    Periodical change in syllabus as per changing needs

(iv)    Prescribe rules for admission in consonance with the reservation policy of the state government;

(v)    Evolve methods of assessment of students’ performance, the conduct of examinations and notification of results;

(vi)    Use modern tools of educational technology to achieve higher standards and greater creativity; and

(vii)   Promote healthy practices such as community service, extension activities, projects for the benefit of the society at large, neighbourhood programmes, etc.

5.  Who provides autonomous status to colleges?


The University Grants Commission (UGC) – an autonomous body of the Ministry of HRD, Govt of India is entrusted provide autono mous status for six years after two stages of verification by the UGC itself and the affiliating University.


The parent University will confer the status of autonomy upon a college that is permanently affiliated, with the concurrence of the State Government and the University Grants Commission.


6. What is the difference between a Deemed University and an Autonomy College?


A Deemed University is fully autonomous to the extent of awarding its own Degree. A Deemed University is usually a Non-Affiliating version of a University and has similar responsibilities like any University.


An Autonomous College enjoys Academic Autonomy alone. The University to which an autonomous college is affiliated will have checks on its performance of the autonomous college.

7.     What about the fee structure in autonomous colleges?


The fees charged for traditional BA/BSc/MA/MSc degrees will be according to the parent university norms. But for add-on, additional courses, Vocational Component, Skill Improvement programme, moderate separate fees could be charged.


 8.     What is the benefit to the Students and Teachers of autonomous colleges?


An autonomous college carries a prestigious image for the students and the teachers. Autonomy reflects efforts for excellence in academic performances, capability of self governance and enhancement in the quality of education. Autonomy is actually earned out of our continued past efforts on academic performances, our capability of self governance and the kind of quality education we offer.


Standardization of college examinations only benefits admission officers in postgraduate programs. It also provides a convenient yardstick for employers to judge prospective employees. Admission officers and employers can be steered toward seeking alternatives of aptitude tests like SAT or GRE.


Most important, in a competitive education market, each college has a reputation to protect—easy grades give a cheap reputation. Reputation is a more reliable tool than standardization to sustain the quality of education.


9. What are the pre-requisites for becoming autonomous?


All colleges recognized under section 2(f) and 12(B) of UGC Act with sufficient academic and non-academic resources are eligible to apply for conferment of UGC autonomy.


Autonomous status covers certificate diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and M.Phil.

programmes offered in colleges.


10. Who are the stake-holders to avail the benefits of autonomy?


The major stake holders of an autonomous college are:

a)  Faculty b)Students c)Parent/Guardian d)Alumni e)  Local community


11.Who grants the degree in an autonomous college?


The Parent University (i.e University of Pune) will award degree to the students evaluated and recommended by the autonomous college. The degree certificates will be in a common format devised by the University. The name of the college will be mentioned in the degree certificates.


Autonomous colleges that have completed three terms can confer the degree under their title, with the seal of the university.


 12.    What is the minimum period for autonomous status to college?

Ten years.

 13.    How does the examination system function in an autonomous college?


Students’ performance is examined internally and externally. Continuous assessment and range of assessment options for internal and end semester examinations.

 1. Written Test (not more than one or two for each course as applicable)
 2. Term Paper
 3. Journal/Lecture/Library notes4
 4. Seminar presentation
 5. Short Quizzes 
 6. Assignments
 7. Extension Work
 8. An Open Book Test
 9. Mini Research Project by an individual student or a group of students
10. Field work / Visit reports


To ensure fairness and justice to students, various alternatives are adopted in the examination system.

 14.    What is the role of office of Controller of Examination (CoE)?


The Exam Committee is responsible for the smooth conduct of the Semester examinations, submission of assignments, and additional examinations. All matters involving the conduct of examinations, spot valuations, tabulations, preparation of Grade Cards etc fall within the duties of the Office of the Controller of Examinations.

15.    Who declares the result?


The CGPA grades that are tabulated by the Controller of Examination is reviewed by the moderation committee. Any deviation and discrepancies are deliberated and removed. The entire result is discussed in the Academic Programme Evaluation Committee (APEC) for its approval. The result is declared on the college notice boards as well as on the web site of the college. A copy is also sent to the University.


16.Can the college give a provisional degree certificate?


Since the examinations are conducted by COE of the College and the results are also declared by COE of the college, the college sends a list of successful candidates with their final Grades and Grade Point Averages including CGPA to the University. With the prior permission of the University, the college will be entitled to give the provisional certificate.


17.What are the Statutory Committees of an autonomous college?

The statutory committees are
1. Board of management
2. Academic board
3. Subject board
4. Finance committee



18.What are the non-statutory committees?


The non-Statutory Committees are

a)  Planning & Development committee

b)  Grievance Redressal Committee

c)  Anti Ragging Committee

d)  Research and Development Committee

e)  Students Welfare Committee

f)  Prevention of Sexual harassment committee.

g)  Library Committee

h)  Sports Committee

i)   Cultural Committee

j)  Admission Committee

k)  Academic coordination committee

l)  Extra Curricular Committee

m)  Academic Audit Committee

n)  Hostel & Canteen Committee


19.Can short term courses be offered by autonomous colleges beyond the curriculum?


Yes. The college can offer special need-based short term courses under the departments of the college for the benefit of the students and outsiders can also enrol for them.


20. How can an autonomous College start new degree / Post Graduate courses?


An autonomous College is free to start a new degree or Post Graduate course with the approval of the Academic Council of the College. Such courses shall fulfill the minimum standards prescribed by the University / UGC in terms of number of hours, curricular consent and standards. The college may rename the existing course after restructuring / redesigning it and the University should be duly informed of such proceedings so that it may award new degrees in place of the old.


The University has the right to review and scrutinize all new courses of an autonomous college and can modify them in consultation with UGC.

Who will check whether the academic standard is maintained / improved after Autonomy? How will it be checked?


There has to be a built in mechanism in the autonomous college working for this purpose. An Internal Committee called Academic Programme Evaluation Committee (APEC) is a Non-Statutory body, will keep a watch on the academics and keep its reports and recommendations every year.


In addition to APEC, Senate, the highest academic body, also supervises the academic matters. At the end of three years, there is an external inspection by the University for this purpose. The standards of question papers, the regularity of academic calendar, attendance of students, speed and transparency of result declaration and such other parameters are involved in this process.


22.  What is the role of State Government towards assistance to Autonomous College?

 The Government has to convey in Concurrence for the extension of autonomy of any college by the UGC within the stipulated time of 90 days after receipt of the review Committee report. The State Government has to give a no objection to the college continuing to be autonomous.

 The Government has to depute a nominee on time to the Governing body of Government colleges and other bodies wherever their nominees are to be included.

23.    What is the nature of assistance granted by Government/UGC after conferment autonomous status?


Financial assistance and other enabling provisions-


The Commission will provide assistance to autonomous colleges to meet their additional and special needs such as:

1. Orientation and re-training of teachers
2. Re- designing courses and development of teaching / learning material
3. Workshop and seminars
4. Examination reforms
5. Office equipment, teaching aids and laboratory equipment
6. Furniture for office, classrooms, library and laboratories
7. Library equipment, books / journals
8. Expenditure on meetings of the Governing body and Committees
9.Honorarium to controller of Examination (full time) not exceeding Rs. 8000/ per month.
10. Accreditation (NAAC) fee
11. Renovation and repair not leading to construction of a new building
12. Extension activities


23. What is the benefit to the Students and Teachers of autonomous colleges?

    • An autonomous college carries a prestigious image for the students and the teachers.
    • Autonomy reflects efforts for excellence in academic performances, capability of self governance
    • Enhancement in the quality of education.
    • Enjoys job oriented curriculum.




Even after Becoming Autonomous College,

  we will continue to be affiliated with University of Pune



 What is new in University Grants Commission Regulations, 2018 of 12th February 2018 (Conferment of Autonomous Status upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges)?


Key Points –



  1. Review existing courses/programmes and, restructure, redesign and prescribe its own courses/programmes of study and syllabi
2. To formulate new courses/programmes within the nomenclature specified by UGC as per the Specification of Degrees 2014 and amended
from time to time
3. Evolve methods of assessment of students performance, conduct of examinations and notification of results
4. To announce results, issue mark sheets, migration and other certificates; however, the degree shall be awarded by the University with
the name of the college on the degree certificate
5. Autonomous colleges need not pay affiliation fee to the parent university every year. Onetime fee can be paid at the time of conferment
of autonomous status. Such fees can be decided by the Executive council of the parent university
6. Prescribe rules for admission in consonance with the reservation policy of the state government/national policy
7. May fix fees of the courses at their own level
8. Constitute their own Governing Body, Academic Council, Board of Studies and Finance Committee
9. They shall have complete administrative autonomy and have the privilege of appointing their own Administrative staff and teaching faculty
including Principal. However, the staff will be appointed as per the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other
Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) Regulations 2010 as
amended from time to time
10. The autonomous colleges shall continue to receive funds as being done before the grant of autonomous status, if any
11. Autonomy granted to the college is at the institutional level and is not partial, and shall cover the programmes at all levels such
as U.G., P.G. and Ph.D offered by the college. The courses introduced by the college after the conferment of autonomous status
shall automatically come under the purview of autonomy
12. The students enrolled at the time of granting autonomy to the College shall also be covered under autonomy
13. Autonomous status shall be granted initially for a period of ten years; further extension shall be for five years at a time except
those covered under clause 6.5



1. IQAC cell shall be established in the college for regular monitoring of the college under intimation to UGC. The Cell shall have an external Peer
Team comprising of academicians of repute and will send report to UGC regarding the performance of the College. The report shall also
be put on public domain on the website of the College. The external peer review shall be conducted atleast once in a year.
2. On receipt of adverse report by the external peer team of IQAC or in case of complaint, UGC has the power to constitute its own Expert
Committee for careful scrutiny of the report and may revoke the autonomous status of the college after giving due opportunity to the
management by way of notification and by passing a speaking order.
3. The autonomous college shall, without fail, upload on its website information regarding the courses offered by it, the fees for the courses,
the details of the faculty along with qualification and unique ID, the admission procedure, the details of relevant infrastructures, research
activities of the college along with the details of Ph.D. students enrolled, if any, with the date of enrolment, topics and supervisor.
4. The college shall also put on its website the creation of various Committees/Cells as mandated in the various UGC Regulations notified from
time to time. The college shall conduct the meetings of the statutory bodies regularly and upload the minutes of the meetings on the
college website.
5. The college shall upload on its website all the information about the college in the prescribed format and the same shall be sent to UGC
while applying for fresh/extension of autonomous status. The college shall also submit progress report and utilization certificate
annually as per the prescribed formats.
6. All the Regulations notified by the UGC shall be followed in letter and spirit by all the Autonomous Colleges and an undertaking to this
effect shall be uploaded on the College website.
7. The number of contractual faculty in an autonomous college should not be more than 10% of the total number of sanctioned faculty
positions in the college.



An autonomous college is free to start diploma (undergraduate and postgraduate) or certificate courses without prior approval of
the University. However, approval of the concerned statutory bodies of the college may be obtained, wherever required. Diplomas
and certificates shall be issued under the seal of the college. The University should, however, be informed about such introduction of
new courses.
2. An autonomous college is free to start a new degree or postgraduate course/Ph.D. with the approval of the Academic Council of the
college and concerned Statutory Council(s), wherever required, provided the nomenclature of the degree is in consonance with UGC
Notification on Specification of Degrees, 2014 as amended from time to time. 16 THE GAZETTE OF INDIA :
EXTRAORDINARY [PART III—SEC. 4] Such courses shall fulfill the minimum standards prescribed by the university/UGC in terms of
number of hours, curricular content and standards, and the university shall be duly informed of such courses.
3. An autonomous college may rename an existing course as per the UGC Notification on Specification of Degrees, 2014 as amended from
time to time after restructuring/ redesigning it with the approval of the college Academic Council as per UGC norms. The university
should be duly informed of such proceedings.