The UGC has launched the following schemes for making higher education relevant to the needs of the society and industry, namely: Career Oriented Programmes (COC), Community Colleges (CC) and introduction of degrees in vocational subjects in line with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). The UGC, through collaboration with National Mission on Education thought ICT (NMEICT), has undertaken e-content development of post graduate programmes called e-PG Pathashala.
The UGC has notified several regulations with the objective of sustenance and improvement in the quality of higher education and for undertaking academic reforms. The regulations are on the following matters, namely: mandatory assessment and accreditation of higher educational institutions; affiliation of colleges by universities; regulation of private and deemed to be universities; minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers; minimum standards for grant of first degree, Master’s degree, M.Phil/Ph.D; grievance redressal; promotion of equity; curbing the menace of ragging etc. The regulations are available at http://www.ugc.ac.in/page/UGC-Regulations.aspx.
The UGC also laid down a list of Degrees specified for the Purposes of Section 22 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. No other degree can be granted by a University/College and Institutions empowered to grant degrees by an Act of Parliament.
The UGC supports access and expansion by financing development of the Central Universities, recognition of new State Universities and Colleges, regulation of private and deemed to be universities and establishment of Community Colleges. The UGC conducts inspection of private universities. These Private Universities are also inspected by the UGC with the help of Expert Committees, constituted by the UGC, which includes representatives from the concerned Statutory Council(s), to check their compliance with the laid down regulations and gives them opportunity for rectification of defects and non-conformity with the regulations.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development had launched a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) namely Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) which seeks to improve overall quality of existing State higher educational institutions by ensuring their conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework. RUSA is incentivizing State Governments to reform affiliating system, governance and academic and examination system in State higher educational institutions. The total outlay for RUSA for the 12th Plan is Rs. 22,855 crores.
The Project Approval Board of RUSA has approved infrastructure grants for five universities and thirty five colleges, two new professional colleges and grants for faculty improvement, vocationalization of higher education and equity initiatives in higher educational institutions in Gujarat.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Lok Sabha question.