UGC Current Affairs

UGC grants full autonomy to 62 higher educational institutes

The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved proposal to grant full autonomy to 62 higher educational institutions which have maintained high standards of excellence under Autonomous Colleges Regulation. These 62 higher educational institutions include 5 central universities, 21 state universities, 26 private universities and 10 other colleges.

Key Facts

The complete autonomy will allow these higher educational institutions to start new courses, new departments, new programmes, skill courses, off campuses, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, take foreign students, offer variable incentive packages and introduce online distance learning.

They can also get into academic collaboration with top five hundred universities of the world. They can also decide their admission procedure, fee structure and curriculum, among others. They will not have to come to UGC again and again for seeking permission as they maintained quality and achieved a benchmark of 3.26 and above NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) ranking.

The 10 colleges which have been granted autonomy will have full freedom but not degree awarding powers. These colleges will be free to conduct admissions, decide curriculum, conduct exams on their own and evaluate them and declare results. However, degrees awarded will have university name along with theirs.

University Grants Commission (UGC)

The UGC is statutory body set up by Union government in accordance to the UGC Act 1956. It functions under Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is mandated to initiate important decisions and dialogues which have important bearing on the entire student population of the country.

The three primary functions of UGC include overseeing distribution of grants to universities and colleges in India, providing scholarships and fellowships to beneficiaries and monitoring conformity to its regulations by universities and colleges.

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N Gopalaswami Committee to select top 20 educational institutes of eminence

Government  has constituted Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) to select 20 Institutions of Eminence from among 104 institutions (public or private) that have applied for the status.

The committee will be headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami. Its other members are Professor Tarun Khanna, director of South Asia Institute at Harvard University, Renu Khator, president of University of Houston and former director of IIM Lucknow, Pritam Singh.

Institutions of Eminence

The scheme of Institutions of Eminence was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC). It aims to help 20 higher education (10 public and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.

These selected institutions are proposed to have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. They will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have flexible course duration and structure.

They will be exempted from approvals of government or UGC for academic collaborations with foreign institutions, except institutions in MEA and MHA’s list of negative countries.

Once identified, the target for Institutions of Eminence will be to break into top 100 bracket in one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years. The 10 government institutions selected will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. There will be no financial assistance to the private institutions.

Only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), are eligible to apply for eminence tag. The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.

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