Digital University will lead to exponential growth: Jagadesh Kumar

Jagadesh Kumar

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently tied up with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) with the objective that students from the remotest areas can have access to online education facilities.

The information has been declared by Professor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India, who was chief guest at the roundtable – ‘Enhancing Competitiveness and Quality Revolution in Indian Higher Education (IHE).

UGC chairperson said, “We are working on a multi-dimensional way to make sure that education reaches the last student in the most remote area. So, we have signed up with MeitY as they have a large number of common service centres (CSCs). Any student can walk into those centres, pay a nominal monthly fee and access digital universities”.

“The introduction of Common Universities Entrance Test Undergraduate (CUET UG) 2022 has been well received by the students and the stakeholders. A huge number of students, around 14.9 lakhs registered for this examination, which is only next to NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test),” he said. He also gave insights into the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to expand and enhance higher education in the country.

“That’s an idea that we are floating so that there is wider discussion among the stakeholders. There is no formal decision that we have taken on this”, he added, speaking on the possible merger between NEET and JEE.

With respect to bringing international students into Indian educational institutions, he said, “Recently we have raised the upper cap to 25 per cent, earlier it was 15 per cent. And in the same guidelines, we also said that as far as the admission of these students are concerned, each individual university can have their own admission policy and in terms of fixing their own tuition fee. We hope that with this flexibility given to our education institutions we will be able to attract a lot of international students.”

He informed us that the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is going to be enhanced soon. He further added, “It is going to be a comprehensive document. It will become the foundation of all kinds of education with the integration of three pillars – school education, skill education and national higher education,”.

“There are around 126 deemed universities in India and we are already working on the deemed-to-be universities’ regulations. Removing the tag ‘deemed-to-be’ requires an amendment at the UGC part, but it will surely happen,” he concluded.