Monday, February 23, 2009

Deemed universities: proposed UGC plan

Dr J D Bapat

According to the draft regulations prepared by the University Grants Commission (UGC), that august body will have the power to fix a uniform fee structure for all deemed universities, besides overseeing a centralised admission process, which will determine student intake at these universities.

The status of 'deemed university' granted to some private institutions gives them a measure of autonomy in running their affairs, on the principle that an institution can attain excellence, only if administrators are given a free hand in running it. The National Knowledge Commission (NKC), that was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to suggest ways in which India can take advantage of the 21st century knowledge economy, has said that the present regulatory system is a formidable barrier to the expansion of higher education.

All the institutions, whether private or public, may not attain the giddy heights of excellence the moment they are allowed flexibility in determining their students, faculty, syllabi, fees and cost structures including remuneration paid to faculty and staff. But at least they have a chance of doing so and those that don’t will weed themselves out by attracting fewer students. When demand gets to match supply, the cost of higher education will fall as well.

Give your comments on the proposed UGC plan for the deemed universities

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