Varsities told to adopt
online course norms
By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : On July 27 the
all universities and deemed universities to amend their
act/statutes or ordinances by August-end to facilitate
transfer of credits of their students opting for the
degree programmes under scheme SWAYAM, a massive online
open courses (Moocs) platform.
To give effect to its directive the UGC, on July 19,
notified the UGC (Credit Framework
for Online Learning Courses through Swayam) Regulation,
2016 in the official gazette (extraordinary).
This was done, according to
the notification, in exercise of the powers conferred by
clause (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 26 of
the UGC Act 1956.
According to the
notification SWAYAM (Study Web of Active Learning by
Young and Aspiring Minds) was being launched to "widen
the access to higher education and to bring down its
cost by using technological advances" and added that
this was being done through "Massive Open Online Courses
The notification authorises
the UGC to notify a standing committee to resolve any
issues that may arise in the implementation of these
regulations during the transition period of three years.
The programme, which seeks
to fill the gap created by the acute shortage of quality
teachers in the country's higher educational
institutions, is likely to be dedicated to the nation by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15.
The Swayam will offer a virtual class room to students
with structured lectures by subject experts.
"An institution can only allow up to 20% of the total
courses being offered in a particular programme in a
semester through the online learning courses provided
through SWAYAM platform," the UGC regulations stipulate.
Students, registered with the Swayam, can complete their
entire programme by attending classes online and take
"proctored" examinations at the end of each semester to
move to the next level. For the proctored examinations,
centres with adequate facilities will be opened in
The credit earned by the students will be transferred to
their parent university by the one conducting the
programme at the Moocs platform.
V S Chouhan to head panel
for salary revision
NEW DELHI : The University Grants Commission
(UGC) has set up a five member committee to revise
salary of the academic staff of universities and
colleges, said a HRD Ministry statement on June 9.
The Pay Review Committee, set up on the orders of the
Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, will review
the implementation of the previous decision of the
government and the UGC under revision of pay scales
scheme approved for the university and college teachers,
librarians, physical education personnel and other
"It will also evaluate the extent to which the earlier
recommendations in relation to qualifications, service
conditions and pay scales etc. have been implemented,"
said the Ministry statement.
The five-member panel, headed by Prof V S Chouhan, will
examine the present structure of emoluments and
conditions of service of university and college
teachers, librarians, physical education personnel and
other academic staff in universities and colleges.
The other panel members
include P. Duraisamy from the Madras Institute of
Development Studies, Ram Singh from the Delhi School of
Economics, HRD ministry joint secretary Praveen Kumar
and retired civil servant R.C. Panda.
It will suggest revision in their pay structure, taking
into account the minimum qualifications, career
advancement opportunities, and total packet of benefits
available to them, such as superannuation benefits,
medical and housing facilities.
According to the terms of reference of the committee, it
will also make recommendations on the ways and means for
attracting and retaining talented persons in the
teaching profession, as well as for furtherance of
research in the university system. It suggests measures
for career advancement of talented teachers in order to
improve quality of higher education.
The announcement has come in
the middle of an agitation by teachers against the UGC
and the HRD ministry over increase in class hours and
The teachers also have been demanding a pay revision
that was last done in 2008, with retrospective effect
from January 2006.
A PTI report has indicated
that the UGC is likely to accommodate many of the
teachers' demands, including not to increase workload.
The report quoting UGC
sources said that internal review and external
consultations have led the UGC to consider possible
revisions, including restoring the direct-teaching hours
of assistant professors, associate professors and
professors to 16, 14 and 14 respectively.
The direct teaching hours
will include tutorials, they said. The hours spent on
practicals and project supervision will be counted on
par with the lectures.
Teachers’ bodies had been
complaining that the new Academic Performance Index
(API) norms would increase the work load of teachers.
“It is also likely that capping of API scores will be
removed,” said the report.
Earlier in the week, UGC had held meeting with
representatives of teachers’ bodies over the issue
aiming to end the protests. Sources said that
authorities are keen that academic activity does not
suffer, so these changes are being considered.
If PhD before 2009, no
need to clear NET
: The Central government gave a major relief to
researchers. It decided to exempt pre-2009 Ph.D holders
from clearing the mandatory National Eligibility Test
(NET) to get teaching jobs. A notification in this
regard will be issued soon.
The information was given in the Lok Sabha on May 9 by
HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who said the BJP government
had decided to undo the “injustice” the Congress-led UPA
government had meted out to research scholars by
mandating NET even for pre-2009 PhD holders.
Prior to 2009, there was no requirement for PhD holders
to clear NET or State Level Eligibility Test to become
assistant professors. This regulation was brought by the
UGC after reports of educational institutions lowering
the bar for teaching.
Subsequently, the UGC issued “Minimum Qualifications for
Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in
Universities and Colleges” during the UPA tenure, making
it mandatory for PhD holders (pre and post-2009) to
clear NET for jobs.
UGC turns down KSOU
request for recognition
NEW DELHI : The University Grants Commission (UGC)
has rejected the request of the Karnataka State Open
University (KSOU), Mysuru to grant recognition
Rejecting the request the
UGC cited reasons like disputed territorial
jurisdiction, opening of study centres outside the
State, MoU with private institutions for conducting
programme and technical courses.
The KSOU had requested for
recognition on the ground that the future of thousands
of students was at stake and hence the UGC ought to
re-recognise the university.
Based on a report from an expert committee set up by the
UGC, which inspected the university a few months ago,
the UGC, in its recent letter to KSOU, declined to
consider its request for recognition and take up
admissions for 2015-16 citing that the university had
not fulfilled its “conditions”.
KSOU vice-chancellor P.S. Naik on February 27 confirmed
having received the UGC letter rejecting recognition.
With this, the university’s hopes of resuming admissions
for 2015-16 have been dashed.
Prof. Naik, however, said the university had terminated
its technical programme, stopped programmes outside the
State and also closed down its study centres.
“The UGC wants us to
terminate our agreements with the collaborators. When we
have snapped our ties with the collaborators by issuing
a general notification, it should be deemed as
withdrawal of collaborations. But the UGC wants evidence
of termination of MoU with every institute,” Prof. Naik
On the next plan of action, he said: “Any decision on
the UGC’s move has to be taken only after the
appointment of the Vice-Chancellor. The matter will be
placed before the Board of Management.”
“At the maximum, we will make a fresh appeal to the UGC
to review its decision and consider granting recognition
from 2013 onwards so that the future of students was not
impeded,” he said.
The UGC had de-recognised
the KSOU, Mysore, in June 2015 for offering
programmes through distance learning mode by "blatantly
flouting the norms".
KSOU, in collaboration with private institutions/
entities/coaching centres spread all over the country
and even abroad, has been offering programmes through
distance learning mode by blatantly flouting the norms,
guidelines and directives of UGC and erstwhile Distance
Education Council (DEC) of Indira Gandhi National Open
University, New Delhi, according to a UGC public notice.
The June 16 notice said that taking cognisance of this
fact, the programme offered by KSOU, Mysore had not been
recognised by UGC beyond 2012-13.
The UGC notice said that the action was taken after
issuing a show cause notice to KSOU on June 10, 2011 and
after considering their response including personal
hearing of the officials of the University. The
university remained undeterred and continued to offer
programme through distance learning mode in violation of
the UGC policy on territorial jurisdiction vide UGC
public notice dated 27th June, 2013, the notice said.
It has also been offering professional/technical
programme in violation of the norms of the concerned
regulatory bodies and without their approval.
The university has also started offering online
programme, which are not recognised by UGC, as an
exclusive method of distance education, it added.
No engg, tech courses in
: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has banned
universities and institutes from offering diploma and
post graduate courses in engineering and technology
through distance learning mode until further orders.
notification dated March 11,
the regulator has warned that it would take action
against institutions violating the ban.
The Commission, in the process of finalising regulations
for open and distant learning mode, has also said it
will not give retrospective approval to distant learning
programmes by institutes "at this stage".
The institutions have been barred from offering BE and
B.Tech through distant education mode following a ban in
2009-10 by the former distance education council on the
orders of the Human Resource Development Ministry.
Referring to the government's previous decision, the
Commission, in its notice, directed universities and
higher educational institutions not to offer degrees in
engineering and technology programmes.
"No university/institution deemed to be
university/institution should offer diploma, bachelors
and masters level programme in engineering and
technology other than MBA and MCA till the finalisation
of the UGC (open and distance learning) regulations,
2014 or notification of relevant regulations by an
independent regulatory authority established by the
central government, whichever is earlier," the
commission said in its public notice.
"UGC has also decided not to consider any request for
ex-post facto approval for the ODL programmes offered by
any university or other higher educational institutions
at this stage," it added.
The notification did not mention names of the
institutions that offer such courses.
"The UGC has been issuing guidelines and notifications
from time to time to regulate courses being offered, but
it does not have legal backing to enforce its
guidelines, particularly over two thirds of the
universities and colleges which are not under the grant
list of the higher education regulator," UGC member M M
Ansari said when contacted.
He also wondered why the Commission has to issue a
notification when it did not have a comprehensive list
of institutions violating the ban.
"Issuing such notifications without identifying the
institutions has no meaning," he said adding that there
were many private universities, deemed to be
universities and state universities offering such
programmes in distance learning mode but the UGC did not
have the authority to stop them.
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.