University Grants Commission announces guidelines for 'deemed to be universities'
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced the modified regulations for all deemed to be universities to align with the broader policies of higher education as contained in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. NEP 2020 aims to improve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to 100% in preschool to secondary level. Also, improve GER in Higher Education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% (2035).
What the new guidelines say?
Multi-disciplinary establishments with at least five departments (either PG/ UG/ integrated/ research or a combination of all of them) or a set of institutions offering at least five departments located in the same town/city can apply for Deemed University status, per the revised regulations. According to new guidelines, UGC will provide approval for the off-campus center(s) and not the Ministry of Education (MoE).
The eligibility criteria
The eligibility criteria would be a NAAC 'A' grade with at least a 3.01 CGPA for three consecutive cycles. NBA accreditation for two-thirds of eligible programs for three consecutive cycles or in the top 50 of any category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for three consecutive years or in the top 100 of overall NIRF ranking consistently for the previous three years.
'De Novo' category
Now, the 'De Novo' division has been switched out for the 'distinct institution' division, where any sort of institute that is eligible as 'distinct' will not have to meet the NAAC criteria. According to Friday's new guidelines, UGC is now set to provide approval for the off-campus center(s) and not the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Keeping violations under check
This fresh new system of graded penalties has been put into place while keeping in mind all sorts of violations. These include a warning through public notice, barring any expansion, and closure of programs or off-campus(es) or departments. The deemed university status would then be withdrawn in case any case of repeated violations take place.