At a recent meeting, the UGC decided to launch a scheme for conferring the tag of “innovation universities” and “innovation centres” to worthy institutes. UGC, after making way for foreign institutes to collaborate with Indian ones, is now trying to set up ‘world class’ innovation universities in the country itself.
To be implemented in the 12th plan period, the scheme will fund existing Central and state universities as well as the best of deemed to be universities to upgrade to an innovation university/ centre status, provided they meet certain parameters related to innovative research. However, no grants or funding will be released to self-financing deemed to be universities. The UGC intends to extend the scheme to colleges.
The Bill provides for upgradation of universities/ institutes to the status of innovation universities, provided they meet certain criteria — a suggestion made by the Planning Commission. It promises a flexible framework allowing freedom to appoint a foreign academician as a vice-chancellor, invite a promising student to join as faculty, allow varsities to device their own merit-based admission process, individual quality standards free from UGC, and to keep the varsity out of CAG’s ambit.