Pune: The Maharashtra State Higher and Technical Education Department has issued guidelines to establish ‘Cluster Universities’ (CU) across the state and has asked for suggestions for the same by June 30.
According to these guidelines, several educational institutions could now come together to form a cluster university with the required land of 2 to 6 hectares. In the forthcoming years, there will be many such cluster universities coming up in the state once these guidelines are finalised.
Talking about the CU concept, Gajanan Ekbote, chairman, Progressive Education Society, said, “Currently, three cluster universities have already been established in the state, two of which are state-run academies and one of which is a private educational institute. Smaller colleges and universities have a great potential to join forces and become CUs. However, several areas are not covered in the guidelines issued by the state government, such as appointments of the V-C for CUs, scholarships, the maximum number of collaborations, and so on. As a result, the time limit of June 30 should be extended and while making the final draft of CU guidelines, all such areas should be clarified,”
Rajiv Sahastrabuddhe, chairman, governing body of Maharashtra Education Society (MES), said, “It is stated in the guidelines that there is a requirement of combined land together of 2 hectares for forming CU, but if any educational institute has lands in different areas, whether they can form the CU along with other colleges or institutions is a question. We are also thoroughly examining the guidelines and many CUs will come up in the state after the draft is sanctioned by the state government. It will give many new opportunities to students as well to gain knowledge from different colleges at the same time.”
Reacting to the development, Rajesh Pande of Pune Education Forum said the next 2-3 years will witness a huge number of CU academies around the state.
“There are several issues, concerns, and suggestions regarding the new CU concept. The main reason for this is to ease the strain on Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), as there are currently over 800 colleges associated with the varsity.”