Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday released the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023, saying they will facilitate the creation of many more quality-focused deemed-to-be universities in an objective and transparent manner.
The new simplified guidelines will encourage universities to focus on quality and excellence, strengthen the research ecosystem and have a long-term impact in transforming our higher education landscape. He complimented UGC for this timely reform aligned with the National Education Policy 2020.
The UGC Act 1956 provides for the Central government to declare any institution other than a university to a status of an institution deemed to be a university as if it were a university within the meaning of Section 2(f).
Upon declaration, such institutions shall be deemed to be a university. The procedure for the declaration of status (General) & De Novo, the establishment of an off-campus centre, minimum eligibility to acquire the status, its governance, etc. are regulated by UGC Regulations. The first set of regulations was notified in the year 2010, and revised in 2016 and 2019.
With the announcement of the National Education Policy 2020 and in order to make the regulations simple, the UGC constituted an expert committee to review and revise the Regulations.
The draft regulations passed through several stages in the process of finalisation. The expert committee’s guidance, public feedback, and suggestions of the commission are all taken into consideration before sending the final draft regulations to the Ministry of Education for concurrence.
Superseding the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations 2019, the new regulations are built on the principle of a “light but tight” regulatory framework envisioned in the National Education Policy 2020.
The salient features of the regulations include:
–Regulations are aligned with National Education Policy 2020. The objectives of the deemed to be universities, among other things, include providing higher education leading to excellence in different branches of knowledge, primarily at undergraduate, post-graduate, and research degree levels, fully conforming to the concept of a University, to strengthen the research ecosystem and to contribute for social transformation through socially responsive teaching, learning, research, and fieldwork;
–The eligibility criteria to apply for deemed to be university status is NAAC ‘A’ grade with at least a 3.01 CGPA for three consecutive cycles or NBA accreditation for two third of eligible programmes for three consecutive cycles or in the top 50 of any specific category of NIRF for the last three years continuously or in top 100 of overall NIRF Ranking for last three years continuously;
–A cluster of institutions managed by more than one sponsoring body can also apply for deemed to be university status;
–Sponsoring bodies seeking deemed to be university status to their institutions may apply ‘online’. The Expert Committee assesses the facilities, interacts with stakeholders, and verifies the documents, all in virtual mode; and
–Institution deemed to be University may start new courses or programmes in any field in their existing campus and approved off-campus centres, with the prior approval of its Executive Council and, also wherever applicable, with the approval of the relevant statutory council.