Graded-autonomy a bold move towards liberalising Higher Education: Industry

Graded-autonomy a bold move towards liberalising Higher Education: Industry
Abhay Anand | Mar 26, 2018 - 6:37 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, MARCH 26: The Central Government’s decision to grant Graded Autonomy to 60 higher education institutions has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the industry as they are of the view that this move will truly liberalize the Indian Higher Education Sector.

The Institutions granted autonomy will not need the permission of the University Grants Commission (UGC) now to start a course, fix fees, set up a new department or open offline campuses. These will also be free to have collaboration with foreign counterparts, hire foreign faculty, and admit students from abroad.

Welcoming the decision, Mohandas Pai, Chair, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Skill Development Committee and Chairman, Manipal Global Education said, “This is great news, after 50+ years of control with declining standards, the top Universities have finally got their freedom. This is indeed historic and Government has kept its promise.”

He further added, “Going forward, we hope the top 200 Universities will also enjoy this very soon. We now need a Rs 5000 Crore research fund to improve India’s global standing in Higher Education.”

Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, Pro-Chancellor, Symbiosis International University said, “We are very happy with the decision of MHRD and UGC of giving autonomy to a certain category of institutions. This will not just help in expansion but in driving excellence in these institutions.”

Setting Global Benchmarks

The Graded autonomy will also help the institutions emerge as benchmarks and not only so, also emerge as a global benchmark, especially in the emerging markets as they will be able to create innovative curriculum and teaching-learning pedagogy.

“The decision of MHRD to grant autonomy to 62 institutions in India in category-I or category-II, is indeed a step forward in making Indian Higher Education excellent and of a global quality. The government and the Honourable Minister need to be complimented for this bold and visionary step,” said Dr. Rajan Saxena, Advisor, FICCI Higher Education Committee and Vice Chancellor, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.

Will it improve quality?

Many of the experts are of the view that the UGC and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in an endeavor to introduce a liberalized regime in the higher education sector it is important to link autonomy with quality. It is time for India to join ranks with world-class universities and improve the academic environment for the students.

It is imperative for India to take stock of the state of its universities and redefine their roles in the fast-changing global scenario.

Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University said, “Since quality is being rewarded with some autonomy of functioning. Combined with reforms in the method of critical assessments of quality in Indian Higher Education Institutions, this is a step in the right direction.”

The decision to granting graded autonomy includes 5 Central Universities, 21 State Universities and 26 Private Universities and eight other colleges. The autonomy was granted under the new regulation, ‘Categorization of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy’ introduced by UGC, and based on the institution’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation score on two categories: I and II.

Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI said, “FICCI has been pioneer in pursuing this subject for more than a decade. This move is a step towards building India as knowledge capital and paving the way for a New India”. This reform was urgently required for differentiating between good quality institutions from institutions which do not meet the required quality standards. It will further help in building a cohesive ecosystem where higher educational institutions/universities would thrive to meet the global quality standards to feature in the list “Institute of Eminence.”

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