UGC receives 100 applications for HRD’s world-class tag

NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has received 100 applications, maximum being from public institutions, including seven IITs, for the Human Resource Development Ministry’s ambitious 20 world-class institutions project, according to an official data. The 90-day deadline of receiving applications from all institutions expires today. Under public sector, 10 central universities, 25 state universities, six deemed to be universities, 20 institutions of national importance and six stand-alone institutions have applied.

Under private sector, nine private universities and 16 deemed to be universities have applied in brown field category and eight institutions have applied in the green field category.

“Overwhelming response to the idea of institutions of eminence. This is how world-class uiversities were built in various countries. The same thing will happen in India,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Among those who have applied from the public sector are seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Madras, Delhi, Bombay, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Guwahati, Roorkee), Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadhavpur University, Goa University, Panjab University and Mangalore University.

From the private sector, the O P Jindal Global University, Ashoka University, Manipal University and Amity University, among others, have applied for the tag.

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The UGC had in September started inviting applications from all institutions that are keen to enter the top 100 of global rankings with the government’s assistance. The Centre wants to establish a total of 20 ‘Institutes of Eminence’ — a distinct category of deemed-to-be-universities, supporting them to become “World Class” institutions.

By March-April 2018, 20 (10 each from public and private category) institutions will be accorded the eminence status with a mandate to achieve the world-class status over a period of 10 years.

The selected institutions will have the freedom to choose their own path to become world-class institutions. “They will be provided with greater autonomy to admit up to 30 per cent foreign students, to recruit up to 25 per cent foreign faculty, to offer online courses up to 20 per cent of its programmes, to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking institutions without permission of the UGC,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.

The institutions will also be free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction and will have a flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree and fixing of curriculum. As per the guidelines issued by the UGC, institutions in the top 50 of the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings or those ranking among top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS University Rankings or Shanghai Ranking Academic Ranking of World Universities were eligible to apply.

New institutions were required to submit a 15-year vision plan to be among the top 500 globally ranked institutions, while existing institutions among the top 500 had to offer a plan to improve their ranking to be among the top 100 in the next 10 years.

A screening committee will go through the applications and select the institutions.