University Grants Commission (UGC) approved a number of changes this week. The removing of ceiling on satellite centres was one of the changes approved by the UGC. The action took place in less than a month’s time since the commission announced new norms for deemed universities.
Prior to this, private as well as public deemed universities were bound to run no more than six off-campus centres in the country. UGC’s new norms have come as a relief to the universities as they are now allowed them to set up as many off-campus centres as they require, only if they have met certain conditions.
Smriti Irani, HRD Minister said, “The quality of education at the off-campus centres should be the same that at the parent campus of the deemed university. It was decided to scrap the ceiling, but a deemed university will only be allowed to expand provided its first two off-campus centres have secured the highest accreditation grade from NAAC.”
In order to make sure that quality is not hampered while establishing centres abroad, the universities are also required to get approvals from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs apart from the MHRD.
UGC has also declared the time within which the applications of the deemed universities will be processed. The step was taken to ensure that applications are do not go unnoticed and are paid all necessary attention. The HRD ministry has made it compulsory for UGC to dispose of all requests within seven months.
UGC has also resolved to maintain records of all inspection visits and make them public within a span of 24 hours. This step has been taken to enhance the transparency. Students will not have to pay an amount more than 10,000 during counselling. The tuition fee will only be submitted once the admission has taken place.
Smriti Irani explained the changes made by UGC and said that the engagement of UGC with the private sector was driven by excessive bureaucracy. She also said that there was a need to increase transparency in UGC’s operation regarding the private sector.