India’s World-Class Universities to enjoy complete autonomy

According to the latest announcement made by the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, 20 world-class universities to be set up under the Center’s ambitious project, will enjoy complete autonomy. He made this announcement in a meeting held on Thursday.

In the meeting, the Higher Education Committee advised the Ministry to fill up vacant faculty positions in IITs, NITs, and central universities on the priority basis as the poor student-pupil ratio is affecting the presence of these institutions in the global rankings, it said.

There were discussions on the term “world class” as well. The members were not able to figure out whether this word is appropriate or not. According to some sources, it is said that there were talks that these institutions should instead be called as Institutes of Excellence.

The HRD Ministry is planning to set-up 20 world-class universities across the Country, these may include the existing ones. Out of these 10 will be in private domain, while other 10 will be in public domain. It has been seen lately that Indian universities are nowhere or have minimal presence in the global ranking lists. The then Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had said in March last year that the government will make 20 educational institutes each from private and public sector world-class. The concept of 20 world-class universities was later introduced in the budget 2016-17 as well.

In June, PMO had advised the HRD Ministry to award full autonomy to these world-class educational institutions. Out of these 20 institutions, 10 state-supported ones will receive public funding up to Rs. 500 crores. A committee has already been formed to streamline the process.

PMO also wanted the HRD Ministry to relax regulations and give these institutions freedom in terms of finalizing the course structure, course duration, credits given to the course and also the timetable. Not only this, PMO also urged the ministry to come up with easy norms for foreign students to enroll in these institutions.

A letter was sent to PMO by Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO, wherein he advised that these institutes should not be regulated under any professional body like that of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India and Architecture Council of India.

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