New Delhi: The government on Tuesday asked the newly created central universities to conduct a combined entrance exam for students and design innovative courses on the unique ecosystem of the region.
The vice chancellors of 15 of these universities met HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday and presented their development plan and courses.
"The 15 central universities will conduct one exam to take in students. This single entrance system may be extended to other existing 25 central universities later," Sibal told reporters.
The single entrance is expected to make the admission process smooth for students who otherwise have to appear in multiple tests to get admission into the university of their choice.
These universities have been created by the Central Act 2009. While 12 new universities have been created under the Act, three existing state universities have been given the central university status.
Sibal said the government will ensure that all these institutions evolve as world class universities.
"These universities will design courses keeping in mind the peculiar problem and ecosystem of the state. The courses will be unique to each university," he said.
Outlining the special courses to be designed by each university, Sibal said these institutions can explore courses on climatic conditions of the region to mitigate the impact of natural disasters like tsunami, cyclone, flood and glacier melting.
He said each university will have world class facilities to attract faculty from foreign countries. The UGC guidelines for recruitment of faculty will be amended to facilitate the foreign faculty join the universities, he said.
The new universities are being set up in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
Besides, Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya in Chhattisgarh, Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya in Sagar (Madhya Pradesh) and Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna University in Uttarakhand have been upgraded to Central Universities.
Sibal said the three upgraded universities have nearly 500 colleges affiliated to them. As a result, these universities have agencies to conduct exams of these colleges.
The Union government has asked the respective state governments to set up state universities to take away the load of affiliated colleges from these universities.
The Centre will provide one third spending for setting up the state university in each of these states.
Sibal said the government has already identified sites for setting up of the university in five states and the site selection process for other universities is going on.
However, these central universities, excepting two -- the one for Himachal Pradesh and the other for Jammu and Kashmir -- have started functioning from this year.
The government will provide one gigabytes connectivity to these universities which will follow e-governance system for better administration.
Sibal said the University Grants Commission has been asked to set up a panel of experts to coordinate with the vice chancellors on all activities of these universities.
The buildings at these universities will be ecologically sensitive structures, the minister said.