In a public notice issued by University Grants Commission (UGC) on 7th October Ministry of Human Resource and Development has invited people to make comments and suggestions on the draft containing the UGC guidelines and regulations for the establishment of World Class Institutions.
Earlier this year in February, finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitely in the budget announcements committed of empowering Higher Educational Institutions to help them become world class teaching and research institutions. Prime minister reiterated, in March, the plan to set up 20 World Class Universities seeking hoist the standards of higher education in India.
Although in the past, India has been the hub of advanced learning with universities such as Nalanda, Taxila, Vikramasila, Valabhi and Pushpagiri being the centers of profound knowledge and attracting the attention of scholars worldwide. However, the situation has deteriorated now, and the Indian Universities seem to be going through a tough phase, crippled with serious questions about their autonomy and education culture. Currently, India has virtually no representation in international rankings of educational institutions. India’s higher institutions yet again like preceding years, failed to bag any respectable place among the Top 500 Universities of the World, with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore being the only institution featured in the list.
In order to achieve realize this ambitious plan to establish World Class Universities the government will identify 10 privately owned or controlled and 10 government owned or controlled institutions which fulfill the required criteria.
These Draft Guidelines & Regulations issued by UGC contain eligibility criteria, selection procedure, other Regulatory aspects, monitoring & evaluation etc. for World Class Institutions. These have been drafted considering the characteristics of institutions which are world class including multidisciplinary areas i.e both research and education, a significant proportion of international and meritorious students, a reasonably good proportion of qualified faculty from high-ranked universities worldwide, a healthy faculty-student ratio, adequate infrastructure for operations and expansion etc. Additionally, these institutions shall have complete financial autonomy to spend the resources raised and allocated. These institutions will be free from any kind of inspection by UGC.
Aspirant institutions will submit a detailed 15-year plan for how they would meet laid-down requirements of world-class universities. An Empowered Experts Committee (EEC) will be set up by the UGC which will evaluate the plans and pick the universities.
The Draft stated that the Guidelines and the Regulations shall be finalized after considering the views and suggestions given by the people.