The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday granted autonomy to 60 higher education institutions across India, of which some are even authorised to start new courses and departments without permission.
Announcing the move as a historic decision, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told media the autonomy was granted to the select higher educational institutions for maintaining high academic standards.
The decision includes eight colleges and 52 universities, of which 5 are central universities, 21 state universities, 24 deemed universities, 2 private universities.
The autonomy was granted under the new regulation, ‘Categorization of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy’ introduced by UGC, and based on the institution’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation score on three categories: I, II, and III.
The Universities and institutions with a NAAC score of at least 3.5 were given autonomy under ‘Category I’, 3.01 to 3.49 under ‘Category II’.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad; National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, Hyderabad; Osmania University, Hyderabad; Jadavpur University, West Bengal’, among others, were awarded ‘Category I’ status, with authorisation conferred to start new courses and departments.
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“These universities will remain within the ambit of UGC but will have the freedom to start new courses, off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks and any other new academic programs,” Javadekar said.
“They will also have the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, give incentive based emoluments to the faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run open distance learning programmes,” he added.
The select eight autonomous colleges are authorised to set their own syllabus, hold examinations, carry out the evaluation as well as declare results — and only the degree will be awarded by the respective university, the statement said.