ANI Photo | UGC grants graded autonomy to Delhi University, seven other universities

The University Grants Commission has granted autonomy to eight universities, including Delhi University, which will give them different degrees of freedom and flexibility in academic and administrative decision-making.
Meanwhile, a group of teachers at Delhi University has criticised the UGC decision, saying this is a design to withdraw funding for any expansion, shifting the burden of expansion and maintenance to students and parents.
The UGC released a list of leading central universities that have been granted graded autonomy under the University Grants Commission (Categorization of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, 2018.
Speaking to ANI, UGC chairperson M Jagadesh said these universities are given either category I or II, depending on their NAAC grading.
The notice has been issued on the official website of the UGC. As per the notice, four universities have received Category 1 autonomy, and four universities have received Category 2 autonomy.
These universities are: Central University of Rajasthan (category 1); Central Sanskrit University (category 1); University of Delhi (category 1); Central University of South Bihar, (category 1); University of Hyderabad (category 2); Maulana Azad National Urdu University (category 2); Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (category 2); and Central University of Himachal Pradesh, (category 2).
“Autonomy gives educational institutions the freedom and flexibility to innovate, adapt, and excel in education and research, as per NEP 2020. By tailoring their programs to meet the growing needs of students and industries, autonomous institutions can contribute immensely to academic excellence and global competitiveness. These universities are given either category I or II, depending on their NAAC grading,” Jagadesh told ANI over the phone.
These universities will remain within the ambit of UGC but will have the freedom to start new courses, off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks, and any other new academic programs.
They will also have the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, give incentive-based emoluments to the faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run open distance learning programmes.
Delhi University teachers said the hiring of foreign faculty will increase the fee burden on students.
In a statement, the Democratic Teacher’s Front said: “Universities that have category-I graded autonomy are expected to first generate more resources by setting up newer programmes (including newer constituent units) without prior approval of the UGC. These programmes will have exorbitant fees, as is already the case for both journalism and Bachelor of Technology courses in Delhi University. “
In 2018, the University Grants Commission (UGC) granted autonomy to 60 higher education institutions.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Hyderabad Central University, Jadavpur University, Panjab University, Homi Bhabha National Institute and Narsee Monjee Institute of Studies in Mumbai, Symbiosis International in Pune and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are among the 60 autonomous institutions.
In 2018, the UGC (Categorization of Universities (Only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, were notified to provide autonomy to the HEIs based on quality benchmarks.
Under these Regulations, universities with a NAAC score of 3.51 or above or those who have received a corresponding score/grade from a reputed accreditation agency empanelled by the UGC or have been ranked among the top 500 of reputed world rankings are placed in Category-I.
Universities having NAAC scores of 3.26 and above, up to 3.50 or have received a corresponding accreditation grade/score from a reputed accreditation agency empanelled by the UGC are placed in Category II. The universities that do not fall under the above two categories are placed in Category III

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