The University Grants Commission (UGC) will for the first time offer private institutes and universities a chance to earn the “University/College of Excellence” status and rub shoulders with the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru University,Jadavpur University,University of Hyderabad and Banaras Hindu University among others.
In a meeting held last week,UGC decided to open its revamped Universities with Potential for Excellence (UPE) Scheme – so far the preserve of public institutions – to private institutions recognised under Sections 2(f) or 12(b) of the Act.
The revamped scheme increases the funding from current Rs 100 crore per institution across two phases to Rs 220 crore spread across three phases besides a formal status of University of Excellence that will now on be conferred to every institution that achieves Phase II criteria.
As far as private institutions are concerned,they will not be given any funding under the scheme but will be offered the status of University/College of Excellence. For private institutions,it is the status that is more prized. While the government does not have the resources to fund all noteworthy institutions in the country,this move is being made in recognition of the good work that some of our private institutions have been doing, top UGC officials said.
While 15 universities stand selected as of today for the UPE scheme,only two of these – Delhis JNU and Andhra Pradeshs University of Hyderabad,have qualified for Phase II of the scheme that attracts greater funding. The new UPE scheme will benefit 21 institutions,an increase from the current 15 beneficiaries.
The scheme that recognises 284 Colleges with Potential for Excellence (CPE) is also set to expand,offering space to private institutions (without the funding component of Rs 5 crore per college across three phases) to earn the tag of Colleges with Potential for Excellence. The scheme provides financial support to help colleges improve their academic and physical infrastructure and introduce modern pedagogy and evaluation methodology.