A group of four colleges who were earlier affiliated with the University of Mumbai have come together to form another University, which will now be known as Dr Homi Bhabha State University. The four colleges, viz. Institute of Science, Secondary Training College, Elphinstone College and Sydenham College will now form the cluster University known as Dr Homi Bhabha State University. The authority of being the main college will be given to the Institute of Science.
According to the reports, from the upcoming academic year, all the students who get enrolled under the cluster university will be part of the same and will receive their degrees from the cluster university. However, the students who were enrolled under the University of Mumbai will still remain a part of the Mumbai University till the time they complete their graduation.
Sources state that some of the perks that the students will receive from being a part of the cluster university are that the cluster university will now offer a wider range of subjects for the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) for the students to select their subjects from. It will also allow the students to take classes or subjects from any of the colleges in order to complete the credits that they would require for the academic year, irrespective of the college they might have joined. Apart from sharing the subjects offered by the four colleges, the cluster university will allow the colleges to share the infrastructure as well as the faculty of each of the four colleges for the benefit of the students and the curriculum, as stated by sources. Sources also stated that the fee that the students will have to pay will be the same as the Government-aided colleges.
Presently, the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University, Dr Suhas Pednekar has been given the role of being the Vice Chancellor for Dr Homi Bhabha State University as well. He was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor on Tuesday, the 14th of May 2019. Sources state that Dr Pednekar will be the Vice-Chancellor till the cluster University appoints a new Vice-Chancellor. Sources also state that Dr Suhas Pednekar will remain as the Vice-Chancellor either till the time a new Vice-Chancellor gets appointed or for one year, whichever arrives first. The Administration of Dr Homi Bhaba State University is yet to be appointed. As of now, sources state, nominations will be conducted for the members of the governing council and the position of deans at Dr Homi Bhabha State University will be offered to the Principles of the four colleges.
In terms of the administration, Dr Suhas Pednekar stated that the University will not follow the method of making a Senate. Instead, a General Council will be made. He also added that a Pro-Chancellor will not be elected either. He further added that Dr Homi Bhabha State University will be introducing certain courses at the postgraduate level such as postgraduate courses in Zoology, Biochemistry, Botany and Microbiology among many more. This allows the University to add many more courses to the sea of options they offer in the first place. Sources state that new integrated courses in the field of education will also be introduced such as B.Sc-B.Ed and BA-B.Ed courses which will be available at the Secondary Training College.
In a statement made by Dr Suhar Pednekar, stated that admissions will only be open students who wish to pursue an undergraduate course from the cluster university. All the announcements regarding the admissions to the University will be made around the same time the admission announcements will be for the University of Mumbai, he added. The prospectus, as well as the curriculum of the University, is yet to be made. The prospectus will be made differently for each of the colleges, however, the colleges will follow the same principles.
Dr Suhas Pednekar commented regarding the new change that will be coming under the University of Mumbai, stating that Mumbai University is a big educational institution with various colleges being affiliated under its name. He states that bringing any kind of change in the colleges of Mumbai University is a tedious task and takes a lot of time.
The cluster university, being small, will be much more manageable thus ensuring that the changes that they have planned will easily be undertaken by the University and its colleges. The move will also help make changes such as bringing in an interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum of the university as well as introducing horizontal movement. He added that the research output from the cluster university will also increase.