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MHRD removes ceiling on 6 off-campuses; makes anti-discrimination & gender sensitisation cells mandatory

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST
  • Full fee to be paid at time of admission, not during counselling or pre-admission process.
  • Barrier free access for specially-abled students a must.
  • Visit of expert committee in DTBUs will be recorded and uploaded on the UGC website within 24 hours.

Human Resource Development (HRD) minister, Smriti Irani, on Thursday evening, removed the ceiling of six off-campuses on Deemed To Be Universities (DTBU). After five years of its establishment, an institution will now be able set up off-campuses, provided it has NAAC 'A' accreditation. Similar provisions will apply for off-shore campuses with the additional stipulation which includes clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA).

MHRD has also made it mandatory for DTBUs to have three cells - anti-ragging, anti discrimination and gender sensitisation as well as an internal complaints committee for prevention of sexual harassment. There will be barrier-free access for specially-abled students in all places. There will also be adequate health care facilities for students, staff and faculty within the campus.

Speaking to media persons, the HRD minister announced several new recommended amendments to the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010.

The visit of the expert committee, essentially confirmatory of faculty availability and of the quality and infrastructure will be, henceforth, recorded and uploaded on the UGC website within 24 hours.

The ministry has also assigned timelines at different stages. Institutes have to respond to the information sought by the UGC within two months, whereas submission of reports by the expert committee now has to be completed in three months.

"The regulations provide an impetus to accreditation and other measures of quality. Institutions seeking de-novo to apply for Deemed To Be Universities (DTBUs) will need to have the highest NAAC/NBA grading for two cycles or alternatively have the highest NAAC/NBA grading at the time of application and be in the top 20 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)," states a release from the ministry.

For DTBU, the concept of Letter of Intent (LOI) has been introduced. After receiving LOI, the applicant will be able to set up the institute and commence functioning within three years of issue of LOI. Similar provisions have been made for off-campuses.

UGC changes rules for deemed to be universities; 10 things to know

UGC has removed the previous specifications in acres of land (5 - 10 acres) replaced with the stipulation that the minimum open space should be 40% of the total area, that academic infrastructure should be at least 15,000 sq. m. and that there must be accommodation for students and teachers.

Institutions, under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), can have a credit exchange matrix with other UGC recognised institutions for the benefit of their students.

Keeping in view the need to maintain academic currency and quality in the new provision, it has been mandated that such institutions will review the syllabus every three years at least.

It has also been made mandatory for the DTBU to participate in the National Institutions Ranking Framework (NIRF) and in the Know Your College (KYC) portal and mobile app application.

Responding to complaints from students, it has been decided that full fee will only be paid at the time of admission, and not during counselling or pre-admission process. No capitation fees will be allowed.

"The amended regulations are intended to remove subjectivity and bring in more transparency in the processes for establishment and functioning of such institutions. They seek to maintain the quality of education, to provide more autonomy, and a framework for Government and UGC interface with the institutions," state a release from the ministry.

First published: 16 June 2016, 10:08 IST