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HRD plans to allow autonomy to best colleges

Some of India's best colleges and research centres will be allowed to award their own degrees to students without having to depend on larger universities that they are currently affiliated to. According to reports, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is planning to implement this sooner.The colleges and research centres that will be allowed to hand out their own degrees will be chosen on the basis of age and quality of education that will be measured in terms of their accreditation rating, student performance and other similar parameters.

Colleges that are likely to be the beneficiaries of the plan by the HRD ministry include Delhi's St. Stephen College and Kolkata's St. Xavier's College. A senior government official said that these institutes will receive the limited power to award degrees on their own to students.The Colleges will be given the power to award undergraduate degrees whereas research centres will be given the power to award postgraduate degrees.If the proposal by the ministry is implemented, it would mean that the colleges and research centres that will be the beneficiaries of the plan will also have the power to conduct their own examinations.

Currently, only universities, institutions set up under the Acts of Parliament or state legislatures or institutions that have been recognised as deemed universities under the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act are allowed to award degrees. However, the immediate implementation of the plan was suggested by expert panel.

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