UGC notifies regulation for grant of graded autonomy to universities

UGC notifies regulation for grant of graded autonomy to universities

UGC notifies regulation for grant of graded autonomy to universities

Any university with a 3.51 and above rating by a government accreditation body, or figures among the top 500 world universities, will be entitled to greater autonomy under a new grading mechanism of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The UGC  proposes  to bunch such universities under Category I, according to its new regulation for grant of "graded autonomy" to universities, which was notified on Tuesday.

Varsities with a rating of 3.26 to 3.50 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), will be placed in Category II.

Remaining universities will come under Category III.

Top universities (Category I) would be completely free from the regulatory control of the government in most   areas of their functioning.

A Category I university will not require UGC approval for starting a new course, programme or establishment of a new department, school or centre in the disciplines that form a part of their existing academic framework, provided they finance the initiatives on their own.

Total freedom

Such varsities will also not require UGC approval for opening constituent units or off-campus centres within its geographical jurisdiction; starting skill development courses consistent with the National Skills Qualification Framework; opening research parks, incubation centres and university society linkage centres through self-financing mode.

"...for Government owned Deemed to be Universities, approval shall be taken from the Government if funding is sought from the Government for starting a new course/programme/department/school in self-financing mode," The UGC (Categorisation of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, 2018 stipulate.

Category I universities will have the freedom to hire foreign faculty on "tenure/contract" basis up to 20%   over and above their sanctioned faculty strength; admit foreign students on merit up to a maximum of 20%  of total seats; offer competitive salary to faculty members with provision for incentives and start courses in open and distance learning mode.

They will also be free to decide on academic collaborations with any of the top 500 world universities ranked by international rating agencies like Times Higher Education.

Categories II, III

Category II varsities will enjoy almost the same extent of autonomy as Category I universities, except that the toppers will be automatically deemed to be under section 12B of the UGC Act 1956 without any inspection by the Commission.

Category-III universities will face increased monitoring and regulatory control by the government.

"This is not to punish them but enable them to catch up with others in terms of performance so that they can also climb up the ladder and face minimum regulatory control," a HRD Ministry official said.