Gujarat Technological University losing out to private universities as colleges opt for autonomy

webnexttech | Gujarat Technological University losing out to private universities as colleges opt for autonomy

The Gujarat Technological University (GTU) is losing out to private universities — 81 colleges have de-affiliated from the varsity or shut down in the past five years until 2022.The de-affiliated institutes said they took the private path as they wanted more freedom, especially in designing the curriculum as per latest demands and trends.
GTU, the largest technical university in the state, lost most of these institutes to private universities as only 18 among the 81 were closed down after 2018.
On the other hand, 57 of the 81 have de-affiliated from the state university after 2017 to get more “autonomy” to design their curriculum.
The university was set up as an umbrella for all technology colleges in 2007 when it had up to 486 colleges under its affiliation.
Fast forward to 2018-19, from 425 institutes under its affiliation, GTU declined to 344 in 2022-23.
“GTU cannot stop these institutes from getting de-affiliated.
The high rate of decline of institutes is a fact that cannot be denied,” said GTU Vice-Chancellor Prof Pankajray Patel.
GTU lost 18 institutes after these were closed down due to non-availability of students or failing to follow the AICTE-mandated rules.
The highest of these closures was in 2018 when seven institutes were closed down — the highest being MBA institutes.
Currently, Gujarat has 65 private universities, including the five approved in this year’s Budget session in March.
According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), Gujarat has the highest number of private universities in the country.
The current count of the total number of universities in the state is 108, of which 65 or more than 60 per cent are private universities.
The highest number of institutes that got de-affiliated from GTU was in 2021 when 21 private technical institutes, mostly offering engineering programmes, were de-affiliated and thus, got affiliated to seven new private universities.
“It is better to be independent and autonomous.
The main purpose for de-affiliation was that the curriculum under GTU was outdated and not up to the mark.
Now, we are free to design our own curriculum with the help of industry experts,” Prof Mit K Shah, Registrar of Silver Oak University in Ahmedabad, told The Indian Express.
Constituted in 2019, Silver Oak University in Ahmedabad had two engineering, one diploma and one management institute affiliated with GTU.
Sigma University in Vadodara, approved in March this year, too had four colleges — engineering, pharmacy, diploma engineering and management — all affiliated to GTU prior to the formation of the private university.
Registrar of Junagadh-based Dr Subhash University, Dr Jignesh J Patel, echoed Shah’s views.
“It also gives more flexibility.
We can easily start the trending courses keeping in view the demand.
Also, the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) can be done in a faster manner.” Founded in 2022, Dr Subhash University had four colleges — diploma engineering, degree engineering, MCA and pharmacy — in Saurashtra.
“Not only it gives more freedom in curriculum framework, but also in the exposure to students like internship and experiential learning or peer learning.
This was restrictive under a public university.
A public university also lacks dynamism.
Also, now we have the freedom to choose which course to offer to our students,” said its Vice-Chancellor Dr Dipak D Patel.
He said the institute can now plan and frame the skills for students from Junagadh, unlike a university that has a standardised module for students across various geographies.
In 2021, the Gujarat Assembly had approved the setting up of seven new private universities in the state, taking the number from 11 varsities in 2001 to 83 within two decades.
In 2022, the highest number of private universities were approved by the Gujarat Assembly when 10 colleges withdrew their affiliation from GTU to be on their own.
Among the popular de-affiliated institutes is the Ahmedabad-based Adani Institute of Infrastructure Engineering.
After the approval for Adani University in 2022, the institute got de-affiliated from GTU.
The phenomenon of de-affiliation hit GTU mainly in the three years between 2019 and 2021 when the number of affiliated institutes fell from 417 to 348.
Also, most of the popular institutes have set up their own universities leaving GTU with fewer institutes in the ‘sought after’ category.
Similarly, the popular L J Institutes or Lok Jagruti University by Lok Jagruti Trust in Ahmedabad, founded in 2019, had four technical institutes affiliated to GTU —engineering, management, pharmacy and diploma engineering.
All these after Lok Jagruti University got its affiliation withdrawn from the state university.
Noble University, another institute based in Junagadh, too founded four institutes — pharmacy, engineering, management and architecture — after withdrawing their affiliations from GTU last year.
GTU also lost two colleges — Gandhinagar Institute of Technology and Gandhinagar Institute of Management (GIM) — from its affiliation after the formation of Gandhinagar University in 2022.
Another example is that of Swaminarayan Institutes of Engineering, Management and Pharmacy that too got de-affiliated from GTU to be under Swaminarayan University founded in 2022 in Gandhinagar.

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