New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday granted full autonomy to 60 higher education institutes under the Autonomous Colleges Regulation, Union Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Javadekar said that 52 of the 60 higher education institutes that have been granted autonomy are universities. The central universities which have been granted autonomy include Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), University of Hyderabad and the English and Foreign Languages University, Telangana.
The state universities which have been granted the autonomous status are Jadavpur University, Andhra University, Algappa University, National University of Law, Utkal University, Kurukshetra University, Osmania University, Guru Nanak Dev University, University of Jammu, University of Mysore, Anna University, Panjab University and University of Madras, among others.
OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat and Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, Gujarat are among the private institutions selected by the UGC for the autonomous status.
The eight colleges, that have also been granted autonomy, will have the freedom to set their own syllabus, hold their own examinations, carry out evaluation as well as declare results while the only exception is the degree will be awarded by the respective university, the minister said.
Hailing the historic decision, Javadekar said UGC "has liberalised the regime in the education sector, and emphasises on linking autonomy with quality".
"These quality institutions will remain within the ambit of the UGC but get complete autonomy by which they can start new courses, new departments, new programmes, off campuses, skill courses, research parks, appoint foreign faculty, take foreign students, offer variable incentive packages, introduce online distance learning," Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi.
The universities have been given grades under category 1 and category 2 depending on their National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score.
These regulations shall apply to all universities established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act and any institution deemed to be a university under section 3 of UGC Act 1956. They shall come into force with immediate effect. The universities will be able to hire foreign faculty over and above the determined faculty strength without disturbing the reservation policy in faculty hiring.
The minister also made it clear that a show cause notice will be given to three deemed universities that are lacking in quality.
However, the Delhi University Teachers' Association in its general body meeting had condemned the idea of graded autonomy – In the statement the Delhi University Teachers’ body had mentioned in their resolution that "the move towards the Graded Autonomy of the Universities envisioning a tiered system with enforced commercialization through self-financed research, courses and other activities on universities figuring in the top and middle tier combined with a threat of eventual closure to universities which are not commerce worthy."