Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Vallabh Vidyanagar


In 2013, in a meeting with the case writers, Dr. F. S. Umrigar, Principal, Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya (BVM), Vallabh Vidyanagar, and the Heads of Departments, BVM, expressed their concerns about the implementation of academic autonomy, an important feature of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP-II), which the college had undertaken. BVM had enjoyed de facto autonomy when it was affiliated to the Sardar Patel University (SPU), since for a long time it had been the only college in the university, and in practice functioned just as a fully autonomous institute would. Two more colleges had joined SPU around 13 years ago, but the feeling of autonomy and control over student learning continued.

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Exhibit 1 TEQIP-II

Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) was envisaged in 2003 as a long-term Programme to be implemented in 3 phases for transformation of the Technical Education System. TEQIP-I (2003-09) covered 127 institutions. TEQIP II is a four year programme (2010-2014), covering 189 institutes, including seven from Gujarat. The seven colleges in Gujarat include six government engineering colleges, the Government Engineering Colleges at Gandhinagar, Patan, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, L.E.College, Morbi, and S.S. Engineering College, Bhavnagar, and an aided college, the Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Vallabh Vidyanagar.

The goal is to scale-up and support on-going efforts of the Government of India to improve quality of Technical Education and enhance existing capacities of the institutions to become dynamic, demand-driven, quality conscious, efficient and forward looking, responsive to rapid economic and technological developments occurring at the local, state, national and international levels.

The objectives are:

  • Strengthening institutions to produce high quality engineers for better employability,
  • Scaling-up Postgraduate Education and demand-driven Research & Development and Innovation,
  • Establishing Centres of Excellence for focused applicable research,
  • Training of faculty for effective teaching, and
  • Enhancing Institutional and System Management effectiveness.

The project cost in the funded and aided institutions will be shared between the Central Government and State governments in the ratio of 75:25.

A primary focus is to transform the Governments’ traditional role of input-control towards a role of focusing on outcomes, and incentivizing improvements in Engineering Education. The Project will require the project institutions to implement academic and non-academic reforms for their self-conceived development programmes that focus on quality and relevance, excellence, resource mobilization, greater institutional autonomy with accountability, research and equity. The Project will also support development of an effective systemic governance model.

One Component of the programme is Improving Quality of Education in Selected Institutions; with a sub-component: Strengthening institutions to improve learning outcomes and employability of graduates. The seven Gujarat colleges in TEQIP-II are covered under this sub-component. The objective is to improve the competencies of undergraduates, through implementation of comprehensive and coherent Institutional Development Proposals (IDPs) containing a set of reforms, improvements in faculty competence and quality of teaching, research and consultancy, and improvement in the associated infrastructure.

  • The institutions under this sub-component will be responsible for the following outcomes and measured deliverables (outputs):
    • A strengthened institution in terms of academic and management capacities as measured by:
      • Obtaining Autonomous Institution status within 2 years of joining the Project
      • At least 60% of its eligible UG and PG programmes accredited or applied for within 2 years of joining the Project
      • Having at least four Board of Governors (BoG) meetings per year as documented by publication of the proceedings of the BoG meetings on the institution’s website
    • Improved faculty qualifications as indicated by:
      • The share of regular faculty teaching Engineering subjects with at least a Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree over the baseline should be increased by 20% and 10% respectively by the end of the second year of the Project.
      • Within two-years of Project inception, at least 50% of its faculty members with only a Bachelor’s degree as their highest degree should be enrolled in a Master’s degree programme if the institution offers a Master’s degree programme. In case the institution offers no Master’s degree programme, at least 25% of the faculty with Bachelor’s degree should be enrolled in Master’s degree programmes at other institutions.

These will be the primary outcomes and deliverables that the institutions are responsible for. Continued funding beyond the Second year of the Project will be subject to meeting the above deliverables.

  • In addition, the supported institutions are expected to improve performance on the following aspects:
    • Increased employability of students as measured by: Improvements in the placement rate and the average salary of placement package
    • Improved learning among students as indicated by: The share of the first year students that complete the full first year and transitions successfully to second year (disaggregated by social group)
    • Overall Institutional progress as measured through: Increase in the overall student and faculty satisfaction,
    • Number of registrants for Masters and Doctoral degrees (and number of Masters and Doctoral graduates),
    • Percentage of external revenue from R&D projects and consultancies in the total revenue of the institution,
    • Increase in the number of publications in refereed Journals, and
    • Increased collaboration with institutions and Industry.

The financial allocation to each Government funded and Government aided institution is expected to be in the range of ` 10.00 crore, and for private unaided institutions, the allocation will be restricted to ` 4.00 crore on cost sharing basis for selected activities.

The following activities are envisaged under this sub-component:

  • Improvements in teaching, training and learning facilities through: Modernization and strengthening of laboratories and establishment of new laboratories for existing UG and PG3 programmes and for new PG programmes; Modernization of classrooms; Updation of learning resources; Procurement of furniture; Establishment/upgradation of Central and Departmental Computer Centres; Modernization/improvements of supporting departments; Modernization and strengthening of libraries and increasing access to knowledge resources; Refurbishment (Minor Civil Works)
  • Providing Teaching and Research Assistantships to increase enrolment in existing and new PG programmes in Engineering disciplines
  • Enhancement of R&D and institutional consultancy activities
  • Faculty and Staff development for improved competence based on Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
  • Enhanced interaction with Industry
  • Institutional management capacity enhancement
  • Implementation of institutional reforms
  • Academic support for weak students
Institutional Level Implementation Arrangements

The Project at the Institutional level will be managed by two bodies (i) the Board of Governors (BoG) and (ii) an Institutional TEQIP Unit.

Board of Governors

Each Institution will necessarily have its own BoG as per UGC Guidelines or as per the NIT Act 2007, as the case may be, either appointed by the sponsoring Government or by itself through due procedure.

The BoG as existing or constituted must be acceptable to the Authorities responsible for granting Autonomous Institution status.

The BoG will, in all cases, be headed by an eminent Industrialist/Engineering Education expert with adequate representation from other stakeholders.

The BoG will meet at least quarterly or as often as required and the minutes of BoG meetings will be published on the Institution’s website as promptly as possible. It will perform the following functions in the context of this Project.

  • Take all policy decisions with regard to smooth, cost effective and timely implementation of the Institutional project,
  • Form, supervise and guide various Committees required for project implementation and internal project monitoring, Ensure overall faculty development,
  • Enable implementation of all academic and non-academic institutional reforms,
  • Ensure proper utilization of Project fund and timely submission of Financial Management Reports (FMRs) and Utilization Certificates,
  • Ensure compliance with the agreed procedures for procurement of Goods, Works and Services and Financial Management,
  • Ensure compliance with other fiduciary requirements under the Project such as Equity Assurance Plan (EAP), Environment Management Framework (EMF) and Disclosure Management Framework (DMF), and
  • Monitor progress in the carrying out of all proposed activities, resolve bottlenecks, and enable the Institution to achieve targets for all key indicators.
Institutional TEQIP Unit

Each Institution will form an Institutional TEQIP Unit with appropriate representation from academic officials of the Institution, faculty, senior administrative officers, technical and non-technical support staff and students. The Unit, headed by the Head of the Institution, will be responsible for implementation of the Institutional project. He/she is to be assisted by a Senior Professor for coordinating the activities of the institutional project.

The Institutional TEQIP Unit will operate through committees for procurement of Goods, Works and Services; financial management; implementation of faculty and staff development activities and programmes; monitoring project implementation, achievement of targets for all indicators as proposed and keeping MIS updated; ensuring compliance with EAP, EMF and DMF requirements; ensuring implementation of Institutional reforms; organizing efficient conduct of monitoring and performance audits, etc.

Source: Extract from Project Implementation Plan, with some additions made in the first paragraph.

Exhibit 2 Autonomies Under TEQIP-II

Academic Autonomy (with due deliberation in Board and in accordance with guidelines of Gujarat Technological University and Commissionerate of Technical Education)
  • Admission of students, counselling and reservation (by ACPC, Government of Gujarat)
  • Determine own curricula, course content, curricula implementation and methods of training
  • Develop credit based curriculum
  • Permit credit exemptions
  • Introduce flexibility in curriculum, with electives
  • New methods of summative evaluation, conducting exams and declaring results
  • New methods of formative evaluation
  • Add value addition courses
  • System for faculty evaluation by students
  • New courses, new programmes, deletion or restructuring of existing courses
  • Innovations in teaching-learning through controlled experimentation
  • Continuing and distance education, e-learning and skill enhancement programmes
  • Collaboration with outside agencies for curriculum development, new learning methods
  • Deputing faculty for academic advancement, developing faculty training needs, inviting experts for lectures
Administrative Autonomy (at Institute/Board level)
  • Continuing Education Programmes, faculty consultancy, Faculty development programmes, industrial consultancy programmes approval of seminars and conferences shall be decided by the Principal in coordination with BoG’s guidelines
  • The deputation of faculty to attend seminars, conferences, and industrial training programmes etc. shall be recommended by the Head of Department. After review by Principal, approval shall be granted. BoG shall evolve the norms for the same.
  • For smooth implementation of TEQIP-II, Principals may delegate some of powers to the Heads of Department and Professors as the case may be with due responsibilities.
Managerial Autonomy (at Institute/Board level)
  • Powers for Institutional management through exercising each of the 4 autonomies is to be vested in the BoG which in turn will suitably delegate these to various committees/functionaries.
  • All academic, administrative, financial procedures and decisions should be transparent and care should be taken to involve maximum participation of stakeholders viz. faculty, staff, students, parents of students, industry etc. in the decision making process.
Financial Autonomy (at Institute/Board level)
  • Minimum financial powers to be delegated are as under: i) Not exceeding ` 1.00 lac for single purchase to a committee headed by the Principal of the College and consisting of HoD and finance representative; ii) All expenditure above ` 1.00 lac would need to be approved by the BoG;
  • Re-appropriation up to 10% of the sanctioned Budget Heads within the Budgeted amount may be done by the Principal with concurrence of the Finance Committee.
  • Re-appropriation above 10% in the Budget Heads has to be taken to the Finance Committee and BoG for approval.

Source: Government of Gujarat, Education Department, Resolution TEQ-102010-2090(1)-S, 28-9-2011

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

2023 Sage Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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