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The nodal education body University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced a series of changes to the regulation governing deemed universities which will relax entry norms and dilute the control of government over such institutions.
The higher education regulator had also taken the decision to remove restrictions on the appointment of deemed university chancellors allowing promoters of the institution to occupy the post. Till now it was prohibited under the old regulation of 2010.
While another amendment allows for government nominees only in universities which are either controlled by the Centre or receive at least half of their funds from it. UGC will appoint a nominee out of a panel of names made by a search committee for the remaining.
Under the ‘De Novo’ category the eligibility criterion for recognising institutions as deemed universities has also been made more flexible.
- UGC has now introduced the Letter of Intent (or LOI) concept which UGC has introduced will allow promoters to acquire deemed status for a proposed education institution based on some terms of agreement.
- The applicant is then required to establish the university within three years of acquiring the deemed status as opposed to the old regulation in which the promoter is eligible to apply only after setting up the institution but now the applicant is required to establish the university within three years of acquiring the deemed status.
As regards the land norms, the Commission dropped the tough parameter of having a five-acre campus in urban metropolitan and seven-acre campus in the urban non-metropolitan area. It has been modified with the condition that 40 percent of the land area in a deemed university must be open spaces having 10 square meter per student floor space.
And to to ensure quality, institutions vying for the ‘deemed university’ tag will have to either get the highest NAAC or NBA accreditation rating for three cycles consecutively or an ‘A’ grade at the time of application and a position among the top 20 institutions under the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF). Only after five years of their existence deemed universities will be able to open off-campus centres.
While elaborating to media Higher Education secretary who is also a member of the UGC, said “The new regulations are aimed at reducing “subjectivity” and “government interference . Right now there are 123 deemed universities of which 35 are either run or funded by government and the remaining are private.”