At least 15 more central universities, in addition to the existing 20, will be set up and start functioning from next year, the government said on Thursday. The decision was taken at a two-day conference here during which vice-chancellors of the 15 new central universities presented their plans before the University Grants Commission (UGC) – the regulator of these institutions. The conference ended on Thursday. The government appointed the vice-chancellors in February. The VCs met here for the first time to prepare a roadmap for making the 15 new central universities functional from the 2010-11 session.
Of the 15 institutions, 12 are new central universities in as many states, while three state universities have been upgraded. The new universities are in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The new VCs have assured UGC that they would be able to start courses in their institutions. 'Most of them have been given land. They are expected to start certain courses from the coming session,' said a UGC official. The universities would offer under-graduate, post-graduate, M.Phil and Ph.D programmes, besides courses on regional issues, said the UGC official. The UGC has already sanctioned nearly INR 2 crore to each of these universities to meet their operational expenditure. Most of the universities are expected to start with a temporary campus. Some already have temporary campuses, said the UGC official.