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UGC seeks public feedback for world class institutions

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has invited objections and suggestions, on a policy document on Establishment of World Class Institutions in the country.

The Centre drafted a proposal on world-class universities, seeking to grant them full freedom to decide their tuition fees and academic affairs.

Ten government-run and 10 privately managed institutions will be conferred world-class university status and get full exemption from the regulatory framework of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

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These institutions will be free to fix tuition fees with facilities like loans and scholarships for the needy. At present, the fee in government universities ranges from Rs 20 to a few hundred rupees. It is about Rs 2 lakh per annum for BTech courses in IITs.

Government institutions are unable to hike tuition fees easily. Although their executive councils are empowered to take such decisions, the universities seldom do for fear of political repercussion.

The 10 government institutions that will be given world-class status will continue to implement the reservation policy. The private institutions are not expected to follow any quota.

According to the draft proposal, government and private institutions will have to apply for world-class university status. An empowered expert committee will examine the applications and make recommendations. If the UGC approves, the ministry will clear them.

These universities will be allowed to recruit faculty without following the UGC’s qualification norms. They can recruit foreign faculty up to 25 per cent of the total strength. They can admit up to 30 per cent foreign students. Since the institutions will not be bound by the UGC’s academic norms, they can design their own curriculum and courses. At present, the UGC prescribes a model curriculum to be followed by institutions.

These institutions will be free from any kind of inspection by the UGC.

UGC has also sought suggestions or objections, if any, on a policy document on Establishment of World Class Institutions.

The Commission has asked academicians and stakeholders to submit their feedback on the UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines and UGC World Class Institutions Deemed to Be Universities Regulations, 2016.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has formed the said policy documents with October 28 set as the last date for submitting feedback.

It may be noted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in March, had reiterated his government’s plan to set up 20 world-class universities in the country.

As per preliminary plans, the government is expected to identify 10 government and 10 private universities and help them achieve “world-class standards”.

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