With a view to reduce the load of colleges on its administration and give them autonomy, the administration of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU) has invited proposals from them for 'autonomy status'. The University Grants Commission had issued a letter to the universities asking them to invite proposals from the affiliated colleges for autonomy. The number of colleges is increasing every year and many universities are finding it difficult to implement affiliation process and hold examinations. BAMU, which has 419 colleges affiliated to it, is no exception. Under the autonomy, colleges will have freedom to design their own syllabi and examination pattern. They can also declare results on their own and the parent university is left with the job of issuing degrees only. There is thus little interference of the university in the administration of colleges. The importance of autonomous colleges was mentioned in the UGC document in the XI Plan profile of higher education of the country. It was clearly stated the only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to delink most of the colleges from the affiliating structure. Colleges with academic and operative freedom are doing better and have more credibility. The financial support to such colleges boosts the concept of autonomy. Therefore, the UGC has proposed to increase the number of autonomous colleges to spread the culture of autonomy, and the target is to make 10 per cent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the XI Plan period. Acting on the UGC initiative, the director of Board of College and University Development Dr M S Shingare has issued a circular inviting proposals from the colleges for autonomous status by February 28. As on today, only Government College of Engineering has autonomy within the jurisdiction of BAMU. The autonomous colleges will be free to make use of the expertise of university departments and other institutions to frame their curricula, devise methods of teaching, examination and evaluation. They can recruit their teachers according to the existing procedures (for private and government colleges). This will also help the colleges to develop their academic programmes, improve the faculty and to provide necessary guidance by participating in the deliberations of the different bodies of the colleges. Which colleges are eligible? All colleges under Section 2(f), aided, unaided, partially aided and self-financing which are or are not covered under 12(B) of the UGC Act are eligible to apply for autonomous status. This includes engineering colleges. Which courses can be covered under autonomy? Autonomy granted to the Institution is Institutional and covers all the courses at UG, PG, Diploma, M Phil levels, which are being run by the Institution at the time of conferment of autonomous status. Also, all courses introduced by the Institution after the conferment of autonomous status shall automatically come under the purview of autonomy. Partial autonomy cannot be given to any Institution.