50 Lakh More Students To Go College By 2012 : Dr Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairman, University Grants Commission
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50 Lakh More Students To Go College By 2012 : Dr Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairman, University Grants Commission

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The 11th plan has proposal for increasing the number of universities and colleges in India . The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prepared a road map to achieve 15 per cent enrolment in higher education by 2012, with special focus on
Dr Sukhdeo Thorat backward areas and minority sections.What are the quality assurance mechanisms established by University Grants Commission for higher education?

UGC is committed to maintain and improve the quality of higher education delivery in India. It has been working towards excellence through its various schemes and programmes in the past years. Financial support is the first step towards quality promotion in our universities. We have provided grants to more than 225 state universities apart from the central universities for maintaining the quality higher education standards in the states. The second initiative taken by the Commission is to promote Centres of Excellence. The concept aims to promote institutions of quality potential for excellence. We are planning for an additional 10 universities of excellence in the coming years. Provision for quality education to all, including students from poor and minorities will be the focus of higher education during the 11th Plan.

A dual grant scheme is planned for infrastructure upgradation and maintenance; also 56 Academic staff colleges for in-service faculty support the quality of teachers through regular courses and programmes. For pre-service teachers the NET examination system ensures the quality of faculty coming into the universities. NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) assesses universities and colleges along quality guidelines and standards followed by an accreditation procedure.

Hence since inception of the commission, UGC has developed an elaborate mechanism of quality assurance and quality check for its institutions of higher education.

ConHow do you see deploying new technologies for ensuring quality
education? The use of ICTs in teaching and learning systems in higher education
is an on-going process and there are many initiatives taken by UGC in this direction. These include Consortium for Educational Communication (CECs), Educational Multi-media Research Centres (EMRCs) and online opportunities in distance education. Their role is to transmit knowledge through distance education and to reach out to the regional and remotest of areas. They are also encouraged to produce and telecast programmes on their own. We have dedicated channels for CECs and they now have an increased telecast time for lectures and courses. CECs use ICTs in multiple ways for graduate and postgraduate courses. The digital content is based on curriculum and general interest which is a boon for students to learn anytime anywhere. Technology has reduced the constraints of time and space; it has reduced the distance of
the source and delivery of knowledge. Technology is now playing a key role
in data and administration systems; technology-facilitated lectures are making classrooms more dynamic and interesting. Distance mode of education
is now making teaching and learning more easy. Whole world of knowledge
is now open through ICTs and specia ly through Internet. The 11th plan has proposal for increasing the number of universities and colleges in India . The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prepared a road map to achieve 15 per cent enrolment in higher education by 2012, with special focus on  Dr Sukhdeo Thorat backward areas and minority sections. Chairman University Grants Commission Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) is
an inter-university Centre named as ‘Consortium for Educational Communication’ was set up in the year 1993. Its objective is Dissemination of educational programmes through both the broadcast and non-broadcast
modes. Production of educational programmes (especially video and audio) and related support material and setting up of appropriate facilities for this.
Research related to optimising the effectiveness of the programmes. January 2008 | www.digitalLearning.in We are in the process of developing an e-Governance plan for connecting internally all the university and colleges for communications and it will have all the student and faculty information
management systems. Do you see the interconnected and distributed knowledge repositories through networks like UGCInfonet have impacts on educational research? How does Infonet contribute to governance in the higher education system? UGC-Infonet programme is a successful initiative to establish stateof the art campus-wide network, co-ordinated by a nodal agency
INFLIBNET centre that facilitates linkages between universities. The information and library network (INFLIBNET) has a consortium of e- Journals. It is an important programme to provide a number of universities and colleges with more than 30 journals that the faculty and students can download free of cost. UGC-Infonet currently offers more than 4,600 journals in 20 disciplines with a combination of subscribed and free journals. All the journals are selected according to their curriculum-relevance to the subjects taught at the universities. We have also planned for e-Books in the next phase of planning for INFLIBNET, where the students can download books free of cost. There has also been an agreement to develop data centres under the Infonet network. How do you endorse partnerships with the corporate sector to promote
ICTs in higher education? At what  level(s) do you see their engagement in bringing in ICT revolution in the sector? What are the implications of such efforts so far? We welcome partnerships and
collaborations to achieve our objectives and goals of quality education. Our policy framework on e-Governance is also considering a framework of public-private partnerships (PPP) in detail. What are the 11th plan development objectives of UGC, in relation to technology-mediated education? The 11th Plan aims at policy initiatives for expansion to access to higher education. We are targeting an increase in the enrolment, decreasing the quality gap between the ‘A’ grade and ‘C’ grade colleges and increasing the number of universities and colleges under UGC grant.sortium for Educational Communication (CEC) is an inter-  niversity Centre named as

What are the 11th plan development objectives of UGC, in relation to
technology-mediated education? The 11th Plan aims at policy initiatives for expansion to access to higher education. We are targeting an increase in the enrolment, decreasing the quality gap between the ‘A’ grade and ‘C’ grade colleges and increasing the number of universities and colleges under UGC grant. The aspect of ‘Inclusiveness’ is given more focus in the 11th plan to target the lower sections of society, girls, disabled, rural areas through financial support of scholarships and grants. We have schemes to help girls, poor, SC/ST students to get fellowships. We have recently started new fellowships for students in central universities. We are also working on revised framework of curriculum for higher education under the guidance of Prof Yash Pal. The systemic changes include more decentralised and democratic functioning of  ducational institutions in future. The UGC is ready with its higher
education policy to be implement d under the 11th Plan (2007-12) that has the target of bringing another 45-50 lakh students to college between 2007- 08 and 2011-12. The 11th plan has proposal for
increasing the number of universities
and colleges the University Grants
Commission (UGC) has prepared a
road map to achieve 15 per cent
enrolment in higher education by 2012,
with special focus on backward areas
and

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