Re­vised UGC rules may raise bar for deemed var­sity tag

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HTNATION - Aman­deep Shukla

NEW DELHI: The hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment (HRD) min­istry is con­sid­er­ing re­draw­ing norms for ‘deemed to be uni­ver­si­ties’ which would raise the bar for in­sti­tu­tions to get the sta­tus and would fo­cus more on quality of ed­u­ca­tion, of­fi­cials aware of the de­vel­op­ment said.

There is pro­posal to make en­try norms for such var­si­ties to be made more strin­gent and bring greater fo­cus on mon­i­tor­ing quality. How­ever, a fi­nal de­ci­sion in this re­gard may be taken by the Univer­sity Grants Com­mis­sion (UGC), a se­nior official said.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal, to get the deemed univer­sity sta­tus, an ex­ist­ing in­sti­tu­tion should have com­pleted at least 15 years.

It is also ex­pected that the in­sti­tu­tion would be ac­cred­ited by Na­tional As­sess­ment and Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil with a high score. In case of an in­sti­tu­tion teach­ing tech­ni­cal cour­ses, two third of its cour­ses are to be ac­cred­ited by the Na­tional Board of Ac­cred­i­ta­tion (Nba).ac­cord­ing to a source, the new pro­posal also spec­i­fies that the in­sti­tu­tion is ei­ther in the top 100 of the Na­tional In­sti­tu­tional Rank­ing Frame­work (NIRF) or in the top 50 in any spec­i­fied cat­e­gory at the time of the ap­pli­ca­tion and also in the pre­vi­ous two years. An­other con­di­tion for the grant­ing of the deemed univer­sity sta­tus for an in­sti­tute is that it should have multi-dis­ci­plinary cour­ses and have a high re­search out­put.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal, the teacher stu­dent ra­tio also should not be less than 1:20.

“The norms sug­gested in the fresh pro­posal are much tighter than the ex­ist­ing norms and are ex­pected to raise the bar for such in­sti­tutes,” said an­other se­nior official.

It holds that the UGC would mon­i­tor per­for­mance and aca­demic out­comes of all deemed to be uni­ver­si­ties on an an­nual ba­sis.among the per­for­mance cri­te­ria, it has been sug­gested that grad­u­ate out­comes should be such that at least 50% of them se­cure ac­cess to em­ploy­ment , self-em­ploy­ment or en­gage in higher ed­u­ca­tion, it is learnt.

An­other im­por­tant con­di­tion is that teacher va­cancy should not ex­ceed 10%of the sanc­tioned strength. It is also ex­pected that a sub­stan­tial num­ber of stu­dents pass­ing out of th­ese var­si­ties would ap­pear and clear ex­am­i­na­tions like GATE, UGC-NET, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal.

“It is ex­pected that the new norms, if ap­proved, would set up a higher en­try bar. How­ever, there are also pro­vi­sions which would al­low more free­dom to the se­lected in­sti­tu­tions in terms of ped­a­gogy and cur­ricu­lum,” the official said.

Un­der the new norms, it has also been de­cided that only the best among the new deemed var­si­ties would be al­lowed off-shore cen­tres af­ter due process, a se­nior official said. Un­der, the ‘de novo’ cat­e­gory new in­sti­tu­tions of­fer­ing niche cour­ses may get the sta­tus, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed norms, a source said.

Furqan Qa­mar, sec­re­tary gen­eral, As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dian Uni­ver­si­ties, said: “Over a pe­riod of time, deemed univer­sity reg­u­la­tions have un­der­gone sev­eral changes. Any step to im­prove their quality is wel­come. How­ever, it has to be seen that au­ton­omy is en­cour­aged...”

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