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Several landmark initiatives launched by the Government to improve quality of Higher Education- (Press Information Bureau) (02 Apr 2018)



The Central Government, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are constantly endeavouring to improve quality of higher education and make higher education practical in the country. The Central Government has launched several initiatives viz. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Impacting Research Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), National Academic Depository (NAD), Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT), National Digital Library, Campus Connect Programme etc. in the field of higher education for qualitative development of education in the country.

The UGC undertakes maintenance of standards in teaching, research and quality assurance in Universities, Deemed to be Universities and Colleges through framing and notifying regulations, schemes and disbursing grants to the eligible institutions. With a view to sustain and improve the quality of higher education and to undertake academic reforms, the UGC has notified UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.Phil./ Ph.D Degrees) Regulations, 2016; UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2016; UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017; UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017; UGC (Conferment of Autonomous Status upon Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Autonomous Colleges) Regulations, 2018 and UGC (Categorization of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, 2018.

In order to encourage research and development in the country, UGC is implementing schemes, awards, fellowships, chairs and programmes under which financial assistance is provided to institutions of higher education as well as faculty members working therein to undertake quality research covering areas of knowledge across disciplines. Some of the initiatives taken by UGC are (i) Universities with Potential for Excellence; (ii) Centre with potential for excellence in particular area; (iii) Special Assistance Programme (SAP); (iv) Research Projects and (v) Basic Science Research.

UGC has also requested the Vice-Chancellors of all Universities to upgrade and review their curriculum every three years for making them more skill oriented and interdisciplinary and with a purpose of making the students employable. The introduction of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) is another important measure taken by UGC to enhance academic standards and quality in higher education through innovation and improvements in curriculum, teaching-learning process, examination and evaluation systems. CBCS provides a 'cafeteria' type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses, acquire credits and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Further, Government is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) with the aim of promoting access, equity and quality. The focus of the scheme is on serving the unserved and underserved areas. Under the scheme, central assistance is provided, inter alia, for components such as Infrastructure grants to colleges and universities, upgradation of existing colleges to model degree colleges etc. Under these components, funds are provided to institutions for strengthening of infrastructure facilities for construction/renovation of libraries, laboratories, hostels etc and for purchase of equipment in State Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).


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