Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar is the only university in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh region to get into the UGC elite category. It is a status of University Grants Commission, which provides universities with powers to have new courses, schools, departments, various off-campus facilities and to start distance education programmes. It also provides them with the freedom to hire foreign faculty without the UGC’s approval.
GNDU has emerged in the top bracket of Indian institutes according to the Human Resource Development Ministry. Along with GNDU, Panjab University, Chandigarh University and Punjabi University have been given a score of 3.5 and 3.34 out of 5 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). They are in category-2 as per UGC.
As per the notification UGC has put universities with NAAC score of 3.5 and above or other accepted ratings in the category 1 and those with the NAAC score of 3.26 and above in the category 2
Universities in category-1 have the power and authority to introduce new incentive structure and hire talented faculty with the condition that it has to pay for the same through their own revenue sources. Jaspal Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor of GNDU stated that by getting into the elite category, the responsibilities on their shoulders have increased as well.
BS Ghuman, Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University said that full academic autonomy will help the university to introduce new programmes as per world-class system. Even though Punjabi University could not make it the category-1, he was happy with the present achievement.