TOP-RANKING INSTITUTIONS will be relatively free of UGC’s regulatory control, if a new set of regulations drafted by the Commission comes into force. The higher education regulator uploaded the ‘UGC (Categorization of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy ) Regulations 2017’ on its website on Friday for public feedback. These regulations aim to divide all UGC-recognised public, private and deemed universities into three categories, each of which will bestow different degrees of autonomy on the educational institutions.
Universities either accredited by NAAC with a score of at least 3.5 or ranked in the top 50 institutions of National Institutions Ranking Framework (NIRF) for two consecutive years will be parked in ‘Category I’. Universities under this category will be free to start a new course, department and school without UGC’s approval. They will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections and can collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the regulator’s permission. Their performance will be reviewed based on self-reporting.
To be eligible for ‘Category II’, universities should either have been accredited by NAAC with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 or ranked between 51 and 100 in the NIRF ranking. Although, such universities will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections, they will be subject to stricter control in comparison to ‘Category I’ institutions. So, ‘Category II’ universities will need the UGC’s permission to sign MoUs with foreign universities. Their performance will be reviewed by a peer group.
Lastly, institutions categorised as ‘Category III’ will be the most regulated universities. They will not enjoy any of the exemptions granted to their counterparts in ‘Category I & II’.