UGC seeks applications
for 'eminence' status
NEW DELHI : From September 13 the University Grants
Commission started entertaining applications from
institutions of higher learning seeking "status of
The UGC will give each institution 90 days to apply for
the status, which will give them the freedom to decide
their own curriculum, fee structure and admit foreigners
up to 30 per cent of the total student strength.
Higher education secretary K.K. Sharma and officiating
UGC chairperson V.S. Chauhan said 20 institutions - 10
government and 10 private - would be chosen for the
maiden status by March 2018.
With the status of eminence, a government institution
can get grants of up to Rs 1,000 crore with the
condition that it has to raise at least 25 per cent of
the cost for proposed infrastructure development over
the next five years.
Officials said the government institutions ranked among
the top 50 by the HRD ministry in their respective
categories such as engineering, general universities or
management, would be eligible to apply for the status.
The institutions will have to present a report on how
they plan to achieve excellence over the next 15 years.
There is, however, no eligibility criteria for private
institutions. Even sponsoring groups planning to set up
new institutes can apply for the status with their
The private institutions will not get any central
Officials said an empowered group of experts would be
constituted by the UGC with approval from the
appointments committee of the cabinet to scrutinising
the proposals and recommend institutions.
The UGC has already notified the UGC (Institutions of
Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017,
for private institutions and UGC (Declaration of
Government Educational Institutions as Institutions of
Eminence) Guidelines, 2017, for public ones.
Unlike other institutions, the 20 with the status of
eminence would be able to decide their free structure,
particularly for foreign students.
The IITs currently charge Rs 2 lakh annually for B.Tech
courses for domestic students and Rs 6 lakh for
foreigners. The new status will allow them to increase
their fee with provision of loan and scholarships.
The "institutions of excellence" will also have the
freedom to decide their curriculum, unlike those that
are guided by a UGC model.
UGC distance learning
rules from next year
: Granting relief to a number of institutions, the
University Grants Commission (UGC) has postponed the
implementation of regulations for open and distance
learning (ODL) programmes to the 2018-19 academic
"The process of admission
for 2017-18 by the universities/institutions is ongoing.
Keeping in view the para 3, sub-para (1) of Part-II of
the said regulations, it has been decided that the UGC
(Open and Distance learning) Regulations, 2017, will be
operationalised from 2018-19," the UGC said in a fresh
notification on July 17.
The move comes following
realisation that an immediate implementation of the
regulations from the date of notification would
technically render invalid all the ODL programmes
offered by various higher educational institutions in
case they do not seek fresh recognition from the UGC.
The UGC had notified the
ODL Regulations, 2017 in an official gazette on June
Many of the universities and other higher educational
institutions, which had just got the UGC's approval to
their open and distance learning (ODL) programmes in
May-June, found themselves in a catch-22 situation as
the new regulations mandatorily required them to make a
fresh application to get approval for their ODL courses.
Stalling of new admissions to the approved ODL
programmes in the academic session of 2017-18 was
another immediate consequence of its implementation.
"Every higher educational institution offering a
programme in the ODL mode in pursuance of an approval
granted to it for the purpose by the then Distance
Education Council or by the commission or by any other
regulatory authority or intending to offer a programme
in ODL mode from the academic session immediately after
the notification of these regulations shall, for grant
of recognition, make an application to the commission,"
para 3, sub-para (1) of Part-II of the UGC Regulations
Open varsities allowed
M.Phil, Ph.D programme
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : Indira Gandhi National Open
University's (IGNOU) mounting pressure on the University
Grants Commission has borne fruit. The UGC has allowed
open universities to run M.Phil and Ph.D programme in
This was disclosed by Human
Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on
August 30 after a meeting with the vice-chancellors of
all the open universities here.
"The open universities have
been allowed to offer research programmes. But they have
to follow the minimum norms," he told reporters after
The open universities have
been specifically told that the relief will hold good
only for those universities that meet all the quality
requirements for these programmes, such as holding
entrance tests and enforcing course work before
beginning the thesis.
The relief comes after seven years as the open
universities were barred from running M.Phil and Ph.D
Regulation 5 of the UGC Regulation
2009 notified on July 17, 2009.
With the change in stand,
mostly because of persistent defiance by the IGNOU and
brewing revolt by others, the UGC recently wrote to all
the 15 open universities allowing them to offer research
(M.Phil and Ph.D) programmes. They are, however,
barred from offering
technical programmes such as B.Tech, M.Tech and
In July this year when the
UGC revised its Regulations 2009 it retained the bar
clause and hence the open universities continued to be
barred from running research courses.
The universities are
established either by and Act of Parliament or a state
legislature and have the autonomy to frame their own
courseware and award degrees. The restrictions imposed
on them, they feel are unlawful.
At today's meeting, the vice-chancellors gave vent to
their feeling and told the minister about the difficulties they had been facing from the
University Grants Commission, which began regulating
open universities since 2013.
Earlier, the open universities were monitored by the Distance
Education Council, created under the IGNOU Act. But in
2012, the government brought the council under the
commission through an executive order.
Subsequently, the council was renamed the Distance
Education Bureau which, functioning under the
commission, came up with its own regulations in 2014
asking the open universities to seek its approval for
every course every year.
Towards this, each of the 15 universities had to furnish
an affidavit every year saying it did not offer any
online or research courses.
Even after the ban was imposed in 2009, some of the open
universities like IGNOU had continued to offer research
programmes, citing the acts under which they had been
established. But the 2014 regulations of the Distance
Education Bureau forced them to scrap their M.Phil and Ph.D
"We have decided to resume M.Phil and Ph.D programmes from
next year," IGNOU vice-chancellor Ravindra Kumar said.
Today's meeting also decided to allow 20 per cent of
every course in any distance education programme to be
taught online, enabling the students to pursue this part
of the course at a different university if they want.
Universities teaching regular courses are already
allowed to offer up to 20 per cent of the course content
online, with the same concession to inter-varsity
Varsities told to adopt
online course norms
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : On July 27 last year the
all universities and deemed universities to amend their
act/statutes or ordinances by August-end to facilitate
transfer of credits of their students opting for the
degree programmes under scheme SWAYAM, a massive online
open courses (Moocs) platform.
To give effect to its directive the UGC, on July 19,
notified the UGC (Credit Framework
for Online Learning Courses through Swayam) Regulation,
2016 in the official gazette (extraordinary).
This was done, according to
the notification, in exercise of the powers conferred by
clause (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 26 of
the UGC Act 1956.
According to the
notification SWAYAM (Study Web of Active Learning by
Young and Aspiring Minds) was being launched to "widen
the access to higher education and to bring down its
cost by using technological advances" and added that
this was being done through "Massive Open Online Courses
The notification authorises
the UGC to notify a standing committee to resolve any
issues that may arise in the implementation of these
regulations during the transition period of three years.
The programme, which seeks
to fill the gap created by the acute shortage of quality
teachers in the country's higher educational
institutions, is likely to be dedicated to the nation by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15.
The Swayam will offer a virtual class room to students
with structured lectures by subject experts.
"An institution can only allow up to 20% of the total
courses being offered in a particular programme in a
semester through the online learning courses provided
through SWAYAM platform," the UGC regulations stipulate.
Students, registered with the Swayam, can complete their
entire programme by attending classes online and take
"proctored" examinations at the end of each semester to
move to the next level. For the proctored examinations,
centres with adequate facilities will be opened in
The credit earned by the students will be transferred to
their parent university by the one conducting the
programme at the Moocs platform.
If PhD before 2009, no
need to clear NET
: The Central government gave a major relief to
researchers. It decided to exempt pre-2009 Ph.D holders
from clearing the mandatory National Eligibility Test
(NET) to get teaching jobs. A notification in this
regard will be issued soon.
The information was given in the Lok Sabha on May 9 by
HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who said the BJP government
had decided to undo the “injustice” the Congress-led UPA
government had meted out to research scholars by
mandating NET even for pre-2009 PhD holders.
Prior to 2009, there was no requirement for PhD holders
to clear NET or State Level Eligibility Test to become
assistant professors. This regulation was brought by the
UGC after reports of educational institutions lowering
the bar for teaching.
Subsequently, the UGC issued “Minimum Qualifications for
Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in
Universities and Colleges” during the UPA tenure, making
it mandatory for PhD holders (pre and post-2009) to
clear NET for jobs.
No engg, tech courses in
: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has banned
universities and institutes from offering diploma and
post graduate courses in engineering and technology
through distance learning mode until further orders.
notification dated March 11,
the regulator has warned that it would take action
against institutions violating the ban.
The Commission, in the process of finalising regulations
for open and distant learning mode, has also said it
will not give retrospective approval to distant learning
programmes by institutes "at this stage".
The institutions have been barred from offering BE and
B.Tech through distant education mode following a ban in
2009-10 by the former distance education council on the
orders of the Human Resource Development Ministry.
Referring to the government's previous decision, the
Commission, in its notice, directed universities and
higher educational institutions not to offer degrees in
engineering and technology programmes.
"No university/institution deemed to be
university/institution should offer diploma, bachelors
and masters level programme in engineering and
technology other than MBA and MCA till the finalisation
of the UGC (open and distance learning) regulations,
2014 or notification of relevant regulations by an
independent regulatory authority established by the
central government, whichever is earlier," the
commission said in its public notice.
"UGC has also decided not to consider any request for
ex-post facto approval for the ODL programmes offered by
any university or other higher educational institutions
at this stage," it added.
The notification did not mention names of the
institutions that offer such courses.
"The UGC has been issuing guidelines and notifications
from time to time to regulate courses being offered, but
it does not have legal backing to enforce its
guidelines, particularly over two thirds of the
universities and colleges which are not under the grant
list of the higher education regulator," UGC member M M
Ansari said when contacted.
He also wondered why the Commission has to issue a
notification when it did not have a comprehensive list
of institutions violating the ban.
"Issuing such notifications without identifying the
institutions has no meaning," he said adding that there
were many private universities, deemed to be
universities and state universities offering such
programmes in distance learning mode but the UGC did not
have the authority to stop them.
UGC makes affiliation rules tough for
education institutions in the country will now have to
face relatively tougher rules for university
This follows the Supreme Court decision in
Association of Management of
Private Colleges vs All India Council for Technical
Education & others
delivered on April 25, 2013.
According to the new affiliation rules --
UGC Regulations 2014 --
finalized by the University Grants Commission (UGC)
recently both the old and the new engineering
colleges would have to produce complete information
about building and staff on the affidavit to be
considered for an affiliation.
Called as the UGC [Affiliation of colleges offering
technical education by universities] Regulations, 2014
the new rules make it mandatory for the new colleges to
deposit Rs 1 crore for 10 years in the university
account and Rs 30 lakh as ‘security fund’.
UGC [Affiliation of colleges offering technical
education by universities] Regulations, 2014 would be
effective from the 2014-15 academic session.
universities would have to ensure compulsory
accreditation from the NSC and its programmes from NBA
to the colleges, according to the UGC Regulations 2014
to be notified soon.
According to the UGC, the university has to be most
cautious and vigilant while giving affiliation. A new
college can be given affiliation with a condition that
it has committed to give related application for NBA
evaluation within six months.
colleges should also submit application for
accreditation from the NASE or the NBA within six months
to six years. The Commission said that a university
should have to submit a compliance report every year to
it regarding all affiliated colleges. The report would
be uploaded on the website of the university. The UGC
will take action against universities for non-compliance
of its rules.
Vivekananda Technical University has asked all the
institutions, which have applied for affiliation for the
year 2014-15, to submit their reports regarding
building, infrastructure and human resources by April 4
affiliation fee has also been fixed for the colleges.
The fee for minority institutions will be Rs 2 lakh and
for other institutions Rs 3 lakh. For extension of
affiliation, the fee will be Rs 75,000 for minority
institutions and for other institutions Rs 1 lakh. The
late fee will be Rs 2 lakh.
Technical and engineering colleges have to deposit Rs 1
crore fund for affiliation, whereas, for pharmacy,
architecture and MCA, the amount would Rs 50 lakh each.
Besides, the engineering colleges have to deposit Rs 30
lakh as security fund, whereas, it would be Rs 15 lakh
each for others.
University Executive Council will take decision
regarding affiliation. The new rules have caused a
flutter among the operators of old and new colleges.
Many old colleges neither have sufficient building, nor
staff. Now, as all information has to be given in the
affidavit, the danger of action is looming large on
giving wrong information.
Accreditation must for higher edu institutions
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : All
higher educational institutions in the country, except
technical education one, will now have to get accredited
The law, called the
(Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of Higher
Education Institutions) Regulations 2012, were notified
in the official gazette on February 19, and come into
force with immediate effect.
The UGC Regulations 2012
say that all higher education institutions who fail to
comply with the assessment and accreditation clause will
be barred from financial aid granted by the UGC or the
Ministry of Human Resource Development but says nothing
of the private institutions who do not take or aspire to
take any financial aid from the government. Nor do the
Regulations say anything about institutions like the
Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) who
blatantly defy the UGC and the All India Council for
Technical Education (AICTE).
The Regulation require that all higher education
institutions (expect technical education colleges
governed by the AICTE) apply for accreditation within a
period of six months to the accreditation agencies
namely the National Assessment and Accreditation
Council, the National Board of Accreditation, and the
National Accreditation Board currently recognised by the UGC.
The Regulations say that all institutions which have been in existence for six
years or from where two batches of students have passed
out (whichever is earlier) will need to seek
accreditation within this stipulated time. Those that
haven’t yet completed these criteria must apply within
six months of completing six years of operation or
passing out of two batches apply for accreditation.
The Regulations, says the notification, seeks to ensure that students can make
informed choices about academic courses, institutions
can raise quality and seek international recognition for
which benchmarking is necessary. Hitherto, accreditation
was voluntary in India and less than 10 per cent of all
institutions are accredited.
The regulations will be applicable to all 44 Central
universities,; about 300 state universities, over 100
deemed universities and over
33,000 colleges of which 6,000 are UGC funded.