The University Grants Commission Regulations, 2012 made it mandatory for all universities (including deemed universities, private universities and technical universities) and affiliated colleges to obtain accreditation from assessment and accreditation agencies specified therein within a specified time period. Technical institutions (as defined by the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987) are excluded from the purview of the Regulations.
As per the Regulations, Higher education institutions have to approach any of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, National Board of Accreditation or National Accreditation Board, or any other agency established by or under an Act of Parliament for this purpose for accreditation.
Higher education institutions, established within a period of six years need to seek accreditation within a period of six months from the date of notification of the Regulations. The accreditation granted by any of the agencies will be valid for a period of five years. Institutes that have obtained accreditation would have to apply for re-accreditation six months before the expiry of validity of the accreditation.
The penalties for non-conformation with the Accreditation Regulations can lead to withholding of grants received from UGC and declaration, cautioning potential students that the concerned HEI is not an accredited institution. In case the erring institute is a deemed university, the UGC may recommend to the Central Government to revoke the notification declaring such an institution as a deemed to be university under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
In case of a private university, the UGC may take action under the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003 if such private university is found to be not in compliance with the Regulations.
The UGC is the only grant-giving agency in the country with dual responsibilities of providing funds and determining and maintaining standards in institutions of higher education.