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Friday, 17 June 2016

UGC approves new guidelines for Deemed Universities

NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved new regulations for Deemed Universities as per which there will be no bar on the number of off-campus centres such institutions may set up, though quality has to be assured. The new guidelines also gives a time bar of seven months for the UGC and HRD ministry to take a call on setting up new centres. According to the new guidelines for Deemed
Universities which was announced today by HRD minister Smriti Irani at a Press Conference, it has also been decided that Universities will not be able to charge more than Rs 10,000 at the time of counselling. "Capitation fee will not be allowed," she added. There have been complaints of students being asked to pay full fees which they had to struggle to recover in case they did not want to join. The new guidelines, Irani said, encourages transparency and focus on quality. She said there is no cap on the number of off-campus centres an institution may set up but quality has to be of the highest order. She added that to encourage transparency, it has been decided that the visits of expert committees for inspection to such institutions will be videotaped and put on the website within 24 hours. In another departure from the previous guidelines, the new guidelines allow the persons who establish a Deemed University to occupy the post of Chancellor or Pro Chancellor. Deemed Universities have also been given more freedom in opening new departments related to core areas, for which they now don't have to immediately seek the permission of the regulator. The new regulations also allow setting up of off-campus centres abroad but for that additional permission of the MHA and MEA would be needed. When asked about the existing cases of unpermitted off-campus centres by some institutions, Irani said they may be looked at in the light of the new guidelines. A statement released today said that after receiving them from the UGC, the HRD ministry has concurred with the recommendations for notification. According to the timelines assigned for different stages for processing of applications - information seeking by UGC (2 months), submission of reports by the Expert committee (3 months) and approval and advice of UGC (1.5 months) and Government decision (2 months).

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