Govt makes universities more accountable

Govt makes universities more accountable

Universities will now have to give almost every minute detail — from admission policy to students' performance — to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.

The Centre has amended University Grants Commission (UGC) rules to make them more accountable.

Those failing to provide all the information sought under the UGC (Furnishing of information by Universities) Rules, 2015, or submitting false or incorrect information and data will be penalised.

An HRD Ministry Gazette notification of the amended rules issued recently said such varsities may also face see their annual grants cut by up to 25 per cent.

The ministry has been conducting a web-based All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) since 2010-11 to collect and compile data from all institutions on various parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, finance and infrastructure.

So far, it was obligatory for higher educational institutes to submit data for the survey. With the recent amendment, the ministry has also made it mandatory for every university, including those set up under state acts, to submit all data and information on various parameters for the nationwide annual survey “on time”.

“Every university and its affiliated colleges shall, on or before the date specified by the AISHE every year, upload complete and correct data, as required,” said the ministry in its notification.

The ultimate responsibility of furnishing correct, complete data, and timely uploading thereof, on the AISHE portal will be of the university or college registrar or head, it said.

Under the revised rules, the universities and colleges are required to submit reports of inspections, statistics of students admitted below the minimum qualification and its justification, details of students' and staff's residential accommodation, total staff strength in different categories and their research experience. 

They will also have to give details of courses offered at different levels, students’ strength at various stages, teacher-student ratio, results of examination with divisions, status of the university's and its colleges' accreditation by a recognised agency, and status of compliance with various UGC regulations.

“Where there is provision for conducting test for admission, a note indicating the minimum criteria laid down along with admission policy and variations, if any, will form the basis of the admission,” said the ministry notification.

Under the new rules, universities are also required to give status of their off-campus or study centres, including distance-education departments; self-financing courses, if offered; teaching and non-teaching staff ratio; position of vacancies; conformity to various professional councils' norms and regulations; and study programmes being offered in collaboration with any foreign university.

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