IITs roll up sleeves for
NEW DELHI : The Indian Institutes of Technology are preparing to
spearhead a unified campaign for academic independence of universities
across the country to counter higher education regulator
directives on the design and duration of courses and entry
A news report credited to Basant Kumar
Mohanty, published in The Telegraph on September 8, several
directors of the premier tech schools said they plan to argue in the IIT
Council that such academic matters should be decided by individual
The directors said that when the council meets on September 22, they
would tell human resource development minister Smriti Irani that the
University Grants Commission’s role should be limited to deciding names
The IIT Council, which is headed by the HRD minister and includes
the directors and chairpersons of all the IITs, the UGC chairperson and
three MPs, is the apex body to decide on matters related to the tech
IIT Guwahati director Gautam Biswas said all courses offered by the
technological institutes had been prepared by experts, keeping in mind
the emerging needs of society and international practices of higher
education. “We will argue that all the courses of IITs must be
The decision to fight for academic autonomy follows recent instances
of the UGC pressuring institutions, including IITs, to cancel four-year
undergraduate programmes in the general science stream and prescribing
norms challenging the legitimacy of many programmes the tech schools
The UGC’s notification on specification of degrees, published in the
Gazette of India
on 5th July 2014, has been sent to over 700 universities
and institutions that grant degrees, including the IITs.
In the notification, the UGC — which had earlier forced Delhi
University to scrap its four-year undergraduate programme in June —
asked the institutions to follow its specified nomenclature of degree
and duration of courses and the eligibility criteria for admissions.
The IITs offer programmes like the four-year BS (Bachelor of
Science), BTech/MTech dual degree of five-year duration, and BS/MS
(Bachelor of Science and Master of Science) dual degree, also of
five-year duration. The UGC list of specified degrees has 129 types of
programmes but does not include certain programmes the IITs offer, such
as the four-year BS.
The notification also mentions master’s degree as the admission
criterion for enrolling in a PhD programme. This invalidates nearly 20
per cent of PhD students in IITs who were given admission because of
their outstanding BTech scores.
The IIT Council had earlier approved this model to attract the best
talents and stop them from joining private firms.
“The UGC notification says the entry qualification for PhD is MTech or
master’s. What will happen to the 20 per cent of our PhD students who
were admitted on the basis of their BTech scores?” said Dheeraj Sanghi,
dean of academic affairs at IIT Kanpur.
Professor P.M. Bhargava, a former director of the Centre for
Cellular and Molecular Biology, said the UGC’s prescriptions of
homogenous degrees, duration of programmes and entry qualifications went
against innovation and pursuit of excellence.
“Nowhere in the world does the regulator or the government prescribe the
duration and entry qualification for any programme. Top institutions,
whether it is Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford University, decide their own
Bhargava said students who show the potential for research “must get
entry” to PhD after BTech, and added that making a master’s degree the
minimum qualification for joining a PhD programme was unprofessional.
“It will affect excellence and innovation,” he said.
In dual-degree programmes, the IITs give two certificates and two
transcripts reflecting the percentage of marks at each level. The UGC
notification seeks to challenge the legality of these programmes.
UGC chairman Ved Prakash said the regulator had gone by the UGC Act,
which says the commission has the exclusive right over specification of
degrees. “The matter will be discussed at the IIT Council,” he said.
“But we have gone by the law.”
HRD ministry sources said they might seek the law ministry’s opinion on
the jurisdiction of the commission on academic matters of universities.
(Courtesy : The Telegraph, Calcutta)
UGC move to boost
: In an effort to give thrust to biotechnology research,
the University Grants Commission (UGC) has planned to
set up four new inter-university centres across the
country, UGC Vice-Chairman H. Devaraj said on June 16.
One of the centres would be dedicated to stem cell
research. All the centres would have resources that
could be shared by research scholars of various
universities. “We have submitted the recommendations to
the Government and are presently waiting for approval,”
he told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration
of a workshop on handling reconstructed 3D models
The UGC would also insist that law be a component of all
courses, where sections relevant to the subject were
taught to the student at the undergraduate and
postgraduate levels, he said.
To encourage students from the North East to pursue
higher education, the UGC had approved 10,000
fellowships for students from North Eastern states.
These students should have passed Class XII and their
families’ annual income must be less than Rs. 4.5 lakh.
These students could accept admissions in any college
across the country and would receive a monthly stipend
of Rs. 5,000 for professional courses and Rs. 3,500 for
all other courses. For this, the UGC had set aside Rs.
180 crore, he said.
On June 16, the University of Madras along with the
Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Centre for Alternative Use of
Animals in Life Science Education, Bharathidasan
University and the SkinEthic Academy from Lyon France
started a four-day workshop on ‘Handling of
Reconstructed 3D Tissue Models’ in order to educate the
academia and industry stakeholders on the
alternatives to animal testing.
UGC makes affiliation rules tough for
education institutions in the country will now have to
face relatively tougher rules for university
This follows the Supreme Court decision in
Association of Management of
Private Colleges vs All India Council for Technical
Education & others
delivered on April 25, 2013.
According to the new affiliation rules --
UGC Regulations 2014 --
finalized by the University Grants Commission (UGC)
recently both the old and the new engineering
colleges would have to produce complete information
about building and staff on the affidavit to be
considered for an affiliation.
Called as the UGC [Affiliation of colleges offering
technical education by universities] Regulations, 2014
the new rules make it mandatory for the new colleges to
deposit Rs 1 crore for 10 years in the university
account and Rs 30 lakh as ‘security fund’.
UGC [Affiliation of colleges offering technical
education by universities] Regulations, 2014 would be
effective from the 2014-15 academic session.
universities would have to ensure compulsory
accreditation from the NSC and its programmes from NBA
to the colleges, according to the UGC Regulations 2014
to be notified soon.
According to the UGC, the university has to be most
cautious and vigilant while giving affiliation. A new
college can be given affiliation with a condition that
it has committed to give related application for NBA
evaluation within six months.
colleges should also submit application for
accreditation from the NASE or the NBA within six months
to six years. The Commission said that a university
should have to submit a compliance report every year to
it regarding all affiliated colleges. The report would
be uploaded on the website of the university. The UGC
will take action against universities for non-compliance
of its rules.
Vivekananda Technical University has asked all the
institutions, which have applied for affiliation for the
year 2014-15, to submit their reports regarding
building, infrastructure and human resources by April 4
affiliation fee has also been fixed for the colleges.
The fee for minority institutions will be Rs 2 lakh and
for other institutions Rs 3 lakh. For extension of
affiliation, the fee will be Rs 75,000 for minority
institutions and for other institutions Rs 1 lakh. The
late fee will be Rs 2 lakh.
Technical and engineering colleges have to deposit Rs 1
crore fund for affiliation, whereas, for pharmacy,
architecture and MCA, the amount would Rs 50 lakh each.
Besides, the engineering colleges have to deposit Rs 30
lakh as security fund, whereas, it would be Rs 15 lakh
each for others.
University Executive Council will take decision
regarding affiliation. The new rules have caused a
flutter among the operators of old and new colleges.
Many old colleges neither have sufficient building, nor
staff. Now, as all information has to be given in the
affidavit, the danger of action is looming large on
giving wrong information.
Beware of teaching
shops, UGC warns students
From Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : With no hope in sight for the passage of
the National Commission for Higher Education and Research
Bill, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All
India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have
started an exercise to make their presence felt.
On June 27 the UGC issued
a circular signed by UGC secretary Akhilesh Gupta
warning students about the ‘misleading’ publicity
campaigns by many private universities. At the
same time, the AICTE has taken a vow to undo the damage
done to it by the startling judgement in the
Association of Management of Private Colleges
vs AICTE case
(Civil Appeal No. 1145 of 2004).
The UGC circular issued to
all universities and state governments warns students
not to get influenced by glossy, attractive
advertisements in newspapers and catchy puffs on the electronic channels.
It has advised students to keep away from unapproved
study centres, off-campus centres, franchisee
institutions, colleges/institutions claiming to be
affiliated to private universities or deemed
“The private and deemed
universities cannot affiliate any college or institution
for conducting courses leading to award of diplomas,
degrees or other qualifications,” the UGC circular warns.
“The students are advised
not to take admission in these unapproved study centres,
off campus centres, franchise institutions,
colleges/institutions claiming to be affiliated with
private universities or deemed universities,” the
The UGC has observed that these private
establishments, claiming to be study centres or learning
centres of different universities, enroll students for
various degree programme and also claim to be
responsible for teaching and conducting examinations.
“The faculty and the infrastructure belong to these
private agencies and the concerned university, except
providing syllabus and teaching materials, has no
mechanism to monitor and maintain the academic standards
of teaching being imparted at these centres. This
blatant compromise with the standards of education has
led to widespread criticism,” the circular says.
The UGC has also clarified that a central or state
government university can conduct courses through its
own departments, its constituent colleges and/or through
its affiliate colleges. A university established or
incorporated by or under the State Act should operate
only within the territorial jurisdiction allotted to it
under the Act.
“No university - whether central, state, private or
deemed - can offer its courses through franchising
arrangement with private coaching institutions, even for
the purpose of conducting courses through long distance.
All universities have been authorised to award only such
degrees as are specified by the UGC,” the circular says.
Similarly, private universities and deemed
universities could not affiliate any college or
institution for conducting courses leading to the award
of its diploma, degree or other qualifications.
All universities have been authorised to award only
such degrees as are specified by the UGC. Importantly,
the M.Phil/Ph.D course
could not be run under distance mode and had to be
conducted on only regular mode by any university,
including private or deemed universities, and as
specified under the Minimum Standards and Procedure for
Award of M.Phil/Ph.D Degree, Regulations 2009.
Deemed universities that have been offering courses
in distance mode before the UGC implemented its
Regulation on Deemed Universities, 2010, can continue to
offer such programmes. But no new deemed university will
be permitted to offer courses in distance mode, the UGC
The UGC is essentially a
toothless body as it cannot award punishment to the
defiant institution, says a seasoned UGC member. “As per
the UGC Act, it can only impose a fine of Rs 1,000 and
issue a public notice against an errant institute. This
penalty is not sufficient,” he said.
There are 158 private universities and 130 deemed
universities, including about 90 private deemed
universities. The ministry has identified 38 private
universities that offer courses in distance mode without
permission from regulatory bodies.
Accreditation must for higher edu institutions
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : All
higher educational institutions in the country, except
technical education one, will now have to get accredited
The law, called the
(Mandatory Assessment and Accreditation of Higher
Education Institutions) Regulations 2012, were notified
in the official gazette on February 19, and come into
force with immediate effect.
The UGC Regulations 2012
say that all higher education institutions who fail to
comply with the assessment and accreditation clause will
be barred from financial aid granted by the UGC or the
Ministry of Human Resource Development but says nothing
of the private institutions who do not take or aspire to
take any financial aid from the government. Nor do the
Regulations say anything about institutions like the
Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) who
blatantly defy the UGC and the All India Council for
Technical Education (AICTE).
The Regulation require that all higher education
institutions (expect technical education colleges
governed by the AICTE) apply for accreditation within a
period of six months to the accreditation agencies
namely the National Assessment and Accreditation
Council, the National Board of Accreditation, and the
National Accreditation Board currently recognised by the UGC.
The Regulations say that all institutions which have been in existence for six
years or from where two batches of students have passed
out (whichever is earlier) will need to seek
accreditation within this stipulated time. Those that
haven’t yet completed these criteria must apply within
six months of completing six years of operation or
passing out of two batches apply for accreditation.
The Regulations, says the notification, seeks to ensure that students can make
informed choices about academic courses, institutions
can raise quality and seek international recognition for
which benchmarking is necessary. Hitherto, accreditation
was voluntary in India and less than 10 per cent of all
institutions are accredited.
The regulations will be applicable to all 44 Central
universities,; about 300 state universities, over 100
deemed universities and over
33,000 colleges of which 6,000 are UGC funded.
UGC sets norms for tie-ups with foreign varsities
NEW DELHI : The University Grants Commission
(Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic
Collaboration between Indian and Foreign educational
Institutions) Regulations, 2012 approved in June will
ensure that academic collaboration between Indian and
foreign educational institutes followed the highest
The regulations mandate that only institutes graded ‘A’
by the National Board of Accreditation or the National
Assessment and Accreditation Council can
collaborate with foreign institutes, which, in turn,
must figure in the list of top 500 global educational
institutes, as ranked by the Times Higher
Education Rankings or the Shanghai Rankings.
Students will not only get a degree from the Indian
institute where they are enrolled but also from the
collaborating foreign institute, if it is inclined to
give one. No programme of study and research shall be
offered which is against national security and
territorial integrity of India.
The two institutions (Indian and its foreign
collaborator) will have to enter into an agreement which
will have to be approved by the UGC before it is
implemented. The approval will be valid for 5 years and
the Commission may review the progress made and
periodically inform the agencies concerned about the
results of such a review. After the expiry of this
period, the UGC may extend or withdraw the approval or
impose such other conditions for extension, as may deem
fit. The regulations make clear that no franchise
arrangement will be allowed.
Existing tie-ups through the Indian institutions will
have six months to meet the new eligibility criteria. In
case they fail to do so, they will have to
terminate the agreements. Institutions that refuse to
comply with the new regulations can lose UGC funding,
de-recognition in case of a deemed university, and
public notices announcing the ineligibility of the
institution to enter into collaborations with foreign
Disputes arising in relation to collaboration will be
settled as per Indian laws.
As per a 2006 study by the Association of Indian
Universities, over 340 institutes were offering courses
in collaboration with foreign institutes. The UGC
regulations seek to bring some order in area to protect
students by ensuring that only genuine academic
collaborations are encouraged.