The Human Resource Development Ministry has tweaked the UGC regulations for setting up 20 world-class institutions, just weeks after the proposal hit a roadblock with the Solicitor General of India objecting to the unlimited powers of the proposed empowered experts committee.
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The committee is meant to screen applications and shortlist institutions that deserve the world-class status. Once constituted by UGC, the expert panel, as proposed earlier, could have awarded the tag independently of the higher education regulator. The Solicitor General, however, had questioned whether the committee can function independent of the UGC.
The HRD Ministry uploaded the amended regulations for public feedback on Friday. According to it, the committee will now run its recommendations by UGC, but the government will have the final word on whether the shortlisted institutions are declared as world-class.
“The report of the EEC will be sent to University Grants Commission, which will forward it to the HRD Ministry in 15 days,” the regulations state.
The committee will have three to five eminent persons appointed for three years. The members should be reputed and credible individuals who have contributed to education and other public issues for 10 years. It will screen applications, which should ideally list a detailed five-year implementation plan, including faculty recruitment policy, research plan and infrastructure development plan, among other things.
This panel will also be empowered to review the working of the world-class institutions, assess deviations from the defined goals and recommend penalties.
The proposed regulations aim at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions. Under the private category, both existing deemed universities and proposed universities are eligible to apply for the status.
This project is among the Budget announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and is being closely monitored by the PMO.
According to the draft regulations, once declared world-class, the universities or institutes should achieve a faculty-student ratio of 1:10 within five years and enter the top 500 club of any reported global ranking in 10 years.
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