New Delhi: The top 50 ranking institutions of the National Institutions Ranking Framework (NIRF) shall enjoy a greater autonomy as per the new approved regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The UGC on Tuesday approved freeing top ranking institutions from its control as it aims to provide greater autonomy to them based on their NAAC accreditation score.
It has brought forward three categorizations for the universities with different parameters of exemptions/autonomy.
Category I Universities
Universities with the NAAC score of at least 3.5 or ranked in the top 50 institutions of NIRF for two consecutive years belong to this category. These universities shall be free to start a new course, department and school without UGC’s approval. They will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections and can collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the regulator’s permission. Their performance will be reviewed based on self-reporting.
Category II Universities
Universities should be accredited by NAAC with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 or ranked between 51 and 100 in the NIRF ranking. Though UGC will not do regular inspections in such universities but there will be stricter control as compared to the category I universities. These universities require permission from the UGC to sign MoUs with foreign universities. Their performance shall be reviewed by a peer group.
Category III Universites
This is the most regulated category. The universities in this category shall not enjoy any exemptions as compared to their counterparts in the first and second category.
On Tuesday, the commission also approved a regulation that permits third-party agencies other than NAAC to accredit higher education institutions.
According to sources, the government is keen that IITs and IIMs also get involved in it. In fact, the former have agreed to set up a Section 8 company for the purpose and volunteer their teachers for mapping the academic credentials of the institution. Before the regulation was passed, accreditation was the sole preserve of NAAC.