The Union Cabinet on Wednesday deferred a decision on the HRD Ministry’s plan of creating 20 world-class institutions in the country. According to sources, the matter was on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting but a decision on it was deferred.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had in February passed a new set of regulations to set up 20 world-class institutions–10 in the public sector and 10 others in the private sector. Of the 20 universities, first proposed in this year’s budget, the 10 state-supported institutions are expected to receive public funding of up to Rs 500 crore each.
An Expenditure Finance Committee note seeking Rs 5,000 crore for these institutions was moved. The institutes can be existing or greenfield (the latter for private institutions).
HRD’s separate rules–UGC (Declaration of Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines–allow these institutes to fix their own fees for foreign students and decide salaries for foreign faculty, as well as freedom to choose admission procedures. Existing universities don’t have such freedom and are guided by the detailed UGC rules.