Centre releases revised “deemed university” norms; simplified eligibility criteria

Centre releases revised “deemed university” norms; simplified eligibility criteria

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The Centre on Friday released the revised University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines for existing higher education institutions to get the deemed to be status by simplifying the eligibility criteria in order to establish more quality-focused deemed universities.

Centre issues revised “deemed university” norms; simplified eligibility criteria
Centre issues revised “deemed university” norms; simplified eligibility criteria

The UGC (Institutions deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023, were released by union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan and they will replace the 2019 guidelines. The guidelines are revised in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Under the 2019 guidelines, the higher education institutions having “existence for not less than 20 years” were eligible for applying for the status. However, the revised guidelines have now replaced it with multi-disciplinarity, NAAC grading, NIRF ranking and NBA grading.

It means, any multi-disciplinary institution having valid accreditation by NAAC with at least 3.01 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for three consecutive cycles NBA accreditation for two third of eligible programmes for three consecutive cycles or in the top 50 of any specific category of NIRF for the last three years continuously will be able to apply for the Deemed status, the guidelines stated.

Besides, a cluster of institutions managed by more than one sponsoring body or a society can also apply for deemed to be university status, it added.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said that the revised guidelines will facilitate creation of many more quality-focused universities deemed to be universities in an objective and transparent manner. “The new simplified guidelines will encourage universities to focus on quality and excellence, strengthen the research ecosystem and have a long-term impact in transforming our higher education landscape,” he said.

UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that 2023 guidelines are in tune with NEP 2020 and they are light but tight. “We hope these regulations will encourage many more high-quality higher education institutions to be established in our country in emerging areas to meet the aspirations of our students. Since “deemed to be universities” wording is part of the UGC Act, 1956, we cannot remove this term at this time. However, it will be removed once the Higher Education Commission of India is established through an act of Parliament,” he said.

There are around 170 deemed institutions in the country currently.

Among other criteria that have been changed, are faculty strength that has been increased from 100 to 150; corpus fund; incase of private institutions, that has also been increased from 10 crore to 25 crore; and creation of an executive councils like central universities in these universities as well.

The revised guidelines have also made it mandatory for deemed universities to register on Academic Bank of Credits (ABC). “The institutions can offer Twinning Programmes, Joint Degree Programmes, and Dual Degree Programmes in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the regulations concerned,” the guidelines stated.

Besides, deemed universities with minimum ‘A’ grade and above or ranked from 1 to 100 in the “Universities” category of NIRF rankings of the relevant year are eligible to set up off-campus centers. “Institutions declared as deemed to be Universities under a “distinct category” can apply for off-campus after five years of their declaration if they are accredited with an A grade or figured in the top 100 in the “universities” category of NIRF,” the guidelines added.

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