The State's higher and technical education
department recently conducted a workshop to elucidate the revised guidelines
for cluster universities. Unlike the previous restriction allowing a maximum of
five colleges to form a cluster university, the new guidelines permit the
amalgamation of more than five colleges. However, the state government retains
the authority to assess each application individually before granting final
approval. Notably, the flexibility extends to the dissolution of newly formed
cluster universities, provided there is a mandatory one-year notice to all
Following cabinet approval, the higher and
technical education department released a Government Resolution (GR) outlining
the comprehensive procedure and parameters for
establishing cluster universities. This development opens avenues for
managements overseeing multiple higher education institutions to submit
Development Project Reports (DPR) to the state. While the earlier guidelines
specified a range of two to five colleges from a single district under a
unified management, the revised GR indicates a potential extension of the
maximum allowable colleges.
An official from the department clarified,
stating, "Such relaxation is not universal; each application will undergo
individual evaluation by the state, and final approval is contingent on this
assessment." The GR mandates that every cluster university establishes its
start-up, incubation, and innovation center—a crucial requirement similar to
To ensure transparency, the higher and
technical education department organized a workshop, providing colleges with an
in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations associated with the new
guidelines. Additionally, the office of Higher and Technical Education Minister
Chandrakant Patil clarified that government grants to colleges would remain
unchanged after the formation of cluster universities.
This assurance addressed concerns among colleges that had been receiving
government grants for an extended period.
Despite the continuity in grants, the GR
introduces a new financial aspect. Management contemplating the clustering of
colleges under a university setup must maintain a deposit of five crore. This
financial requirement aims to secure commitments from the managements of higher
education institutions engaging in the formation of cluster universities.
In essence, the revised guidelines signify
a departure from the earlier constraints, providing more flexibility for the
establishment and operation of cluster universities. The emphasis on individual
evaluation, mandatory institutional setups, and financial
commitments underscores the state's commitment to maintaining standards and
ensuring the sustainability of the proposed cluster universities.