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.
Ved Prakash is UGC Chairman de jure
NEW DELHI : On January 18, the officiating chairman of
the University Grants Commission, Dr Ved Prakash was
formally appointed chairman of the organisation.
The appointment came after the government had set up
afresh a search-cum-selection committee last September
to shortlist a candidate for the post, sources said.
The contenders for the top post included India’s chief
statistician T.C.A. Anant and Tata Institute of Social
Sciences chief S. Parasuraman, they said.
The chairman’s post was vacant since S. Thorat retired
in February 2011. Since then Mr. Prakash had been
officiating as the chairman.
selection of the chairman
delayed as the three-member search committee was dragging
its feet without reaching any concrete conclusions
because it was not sure about the eligibility criteria
of candidates in general and the age clause in
Act stipulates that the office of the UGC chairman shall be whole time and he/she shall “hold
office for a term of five years or
until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is
Accordingly, the UGC chairman had to be appointed on a
whole time basis and for the full term. The provision
does not allow for interpretation knowingly or
deliberately that a person could be appointed chairman
for a period, which will not be one term of five years.
stipulation in the advertisement given by the HRD
ministry on this subject mentioned, “...nominees should
be preferably below the age of 60 years''. This
appeared to have also been guided by this principle.
Non-adherence to this provision would tantamount to
violation of the relevant stipulation in the UGC.
Curtailment of full term due to an intervening factor
such as superannuation or some unforeseen reasons of
exit from the position would be an exception and not a
The HRD ministry's decision in the appointment of Prof
SS Mantha as the chairman, All India Council for
Technical Education (AICTE), last year supports the principle cited for the position of
the UGC chairman.
UGC checks 53 pvt varsities, finds only 5 'in order'
NEW DELHI : Human Resource Development (HRD)
Pallam Raju told Rajya Sabha on December 14 that only five
out of 53 private universities
inspected by the University Grants Commission (UGC) were
found to be in order.
He said 53 of the total 145 private universities were inspected while replying to supplementaries during
the question hour in the Rajya Sabha.
"Fifty-three universities were inspected to see how many
were following UGC norms... five of these were found in
order, and came clear," Raju said.
"Once we get some complaint, we inspect the university.
We give them some time to rectify, but if even after
that they do not follow regulations, they are asked to
close," he said.
The minister added that the UGC, which looks after all
non-technical education, had no power to shut down
The UGC can only direct them to close courses against
which complaints have been received, he explained.
Raju added that the passage of two pending bills in
parliament, Educational Tribunal Bill and National
Accreditation Regulatory Authority (NARA) for Higher
Educational Institutions Bill, would
help in further regulating private universities.
"I take this opportunity to urge the members to pass the
bill for setting up a education tribunal and another one
for an accreditation authority," Raju said.
The minister also accepted that there were weaknesses in
the UGC and the government was trying to strengthen it.
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.
UGC defers plan
to allow entry of foreign varsities
NEW DELHI : On June 2 the University Grants
Commission (UGC) deferred a controversial proposal to
allow the entry of foreign educational institutions
within the existing legal framework. However, it gave
‘in principle approval' to regulations on collaborative
and joint courses.
‘The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of
Entry and Operations) Bill 2010,' is pending in
Parliament as several parties are opposed to some of the
provisions which would allow foreign universities to
operate in India. The Parliamentary Standing Committee
has made several recommendations to the Bill and they
were being considered by the government.
The move by the UGC was seen by some of the academic
experts, who do not wish to be identified, as allowing
the foreign universities to come in without a
legislative framework. They are also of the view that
such a move would be in violation of the provisions of
the UGC Act, 1956.
The UGC approved ‘in principle' regulations on allowing
twinning and joint degree programmes between the “top
ranking foreign educational institutions and the best
Indian universities.” Only the best universities of the
country would be allowed to have tie-up with the
internationally accredited 500 foreign universities and
the courses would have to be completed in both
As per the guidelines, foreign universities entering
into tie-ups with Indian partners should be among the
top 500 ranked by the Times Higher Education
World University Ranking or by Shanghai Jiaotong
University. The degrees will be granted by the Indian
The Hindu had on Friday reported that the
Human Resource Development Ministry was trying to
identify possibilities of allowing the foreign
institutions into the country as it was finding it hard
to push through the Foreign Educational Institutions
(Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010 in
Parliament due to lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha.
The UGC called a special meeting and the only two items
on the agenda had the possibility of allowing foreign
educational institutions to enter as ‘deemed
universities' under Section 3 of the University Grants
Commission Act, 1956, or as private universities under
the State laws, and drafting regulations on
twinning programmes and joint degree programmes.
According to informed sources, some members of the UGC
strongly opposed the proposal to allow the foreign
universities when a Bill was already pending in
Parliament. Also the UGC Act, 1956 would not be
applicable to foreign universities without amendments.
“The UGC chairperson and the Higher Education Secretary
concurred with the objections and agreed to defer the
item,” UGC sources told The Hindu.
The panel members approved the regulations on joint
programmes as it was felt it was necessary to curb the
‘fly-by-night' operators in the country. Once the
regulations come into effect, such operators will have
to wind up.
As of now, only technical and management courses of
foreign institutions are allowed in India as they are
regulated by the All India Council of Technical
Education (AICTE) Act. However, a large number of
courses across the board are being conducted in an
The UGC in 2003 mooted a proposal on regulation of entry
and operation of foreign universities but did not pursue
it after it was brought to the notice of
the UGC by its legal experts that the UGC Act does not
permit regulation of foreign universities.
S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, Dean of Sastra University, said
the decision to allow only top 500 foreign universities
in collaborative mode was a good first step in the
interest of the existing faculty crisis and poor
research productivity in Indian higher education.
Such collaboration should begin with Post Graduate and
Ph.D. programmes only, he said. (Courtesy : The Hindu)
Our Correspondent adds
: The UGC move will end fleecing by fake foreign
educational institutes operating from India. Over 631
are operating as of today without anyone knowing their
But now, any foreign educational institution which
figures among the top 500 in global QS rankings or Times
Higher Education Supplement rankings will be formally
allowed to offer undergradute degrees like — BA, BSc,
BTech etc — in India by entering into a collaboration
with a top Indian university or college which has the
highest accreditation grade back home. Indian colleges
with Grade A accreditation from the National Board of
Accreditation or NAAC (National Assessment and
Accreditation Council) alone will be eligible to partner
with foreign colleges.
This twinning arrangement was approved today by the
Commission by way of a regulation called, "Promotion and
Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration
between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions".
The regulation will be sent to the Ministry of HRD for
notification after which any
Indian college can approach the UGC with a proposal to
partner with the foreign college.
"The commission will screen the proposal before
certifying it. The condition is that the degree awarded
will have to be by the Indian education provider to
ensure our students are not harassed due to
non-recognition. The two collaborators can work out the
arrangements. They can split the duration of semesters
between India and abroad. The foreign provider can award
their degrees but the Indian degree would be an
essential requirement," said Ved Prakash, Acting
Importantly, the UGC will soon issue a public notice
asking all existing foreign education providers and
their Indian partners to fulfill the accreditation
norms required under the new regulations within six
Once the regulation is notified, the UGC will call for
every Indian partner of foreign educational institutions
to seek certification within six months.