Maharashtra government permits Urban Higher Education Institutions to Setup Satellites Centres in Rural Regions

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has allowed the urban higher education institutions and colleges in the state to set up and operate satellite centres in rural and tribal regions across the state to connect it with modern education facilities.

According to media reports, the Higher & Technical Education Department on friday, issued a notification citing the procedures and criteria for approval of new satellite centres from the next academic year.

The Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, defines “satellite centre” as an integral part of an affiliated or conducted college or recognized institution imparting academic programmes, co-curricular, research and extension activities in rural or tribal region, neighbouring the location of such college or institution, established with the object of reaching the unreached, on the terms and conditions specified by the State Government by an Order in the Official Gazette.

A Board of Deans of the concerned university will assess the applications for starting satellite centres within a limited time period. For starting a centre the next year, colleges or institutions are required to submit the necessary documents by October 15 every year to the respective vice-chancellor.

The notification states, it must be established within 200 km radius of the university and provide the services of online and open-distance learning facilities as per the National Education Policy. An institution will be allowed to set up subsequent centres only after it runs one satellite centre in a satisfactory manner for at least a period of three years.

Educationist Anil Rao, member of the three-member committee formed by the government to submit a report on starting satellite centres, said, “The government has adopted major recommendations in the report, and this move will enable colleges in ivory towers to take their institutes to rural areas. Migration of students to cities will also be brought under control, thereby increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio in such regions”.

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