Pune’s Fergusson College gets university status

One of the oldest and most iconic educational institutions in the country, Fergusson College, run by the Deccan Education Society (DES) and established by stalwarts like Lokmanya Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, has added another feather to its hat. The college has received the status of a university, an official of the DES said on Saturday.

“We received a phone call from from officials of the University Grants Commission who confirmed that the Fergusson College has received the status of a university. However, we are yet to receive an official letter… On Monday, a meeting was held in Mumbai on the same. We are not yet sure whether it will be a deemed status or a state university status,” said Principal Ravindrasinh Pardeshi during a press conference on Saturday.

UGC official have said college is one of the three institutions across the country to attain the status of a university and is set to receive a grant under the Centre’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan (RUSA). Fergusson College has been an autonomous institute since 2016. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had asked all the autonomous colleges, who wished to upgrade their status to that of a university, to send in their proposals by April 19. On Friday, a meeting took place in New Delhi between officials of the RUSA and the UGC where names of three colleges, including Fergusson, were finalised.

DES Chairman Sharad Kunte said, “We are looking forward to having a clustered university, as we have courses in various disciplines under the DES. Once we receive clear provisions on how how to form a cluster university from the centre, We will send a proposal regarding the same.”

The Centre and the state government are expected to provide a total of Rs 55 crore to the college for upgradation of facilities. Officials said the college will convert its 27 departments in Arts and Science streams to eight ‘schools’. Like the school of bio-sciences, school of liberal arts and humanities, school of social sciences, and so on, which will be headed by directors or deans. There will also be separate centres dedicated skill and personality development, and health and wellness. The college will also focus on improving the physical infrastructure of the campus.