One-time UGC assistance for institutions

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is considering giving a one-time assistance to 6,000 colleges and 71 State universities to help them implement quality improvement programmes, UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat has said.

The assistance is intended to help these institutions, nearly 25 of which are in Kerala, meet the criteria for receiving grants/aid from the UGC.

At present these institutions are beyond the purview of the commission, Dr. Thorat said. He was interacting with college lecturers at a programme organised by the State Higher Education Council (HEC) here on Saturday.

The scheme is being thought of as part of the agenda of inclusiveness in education that is central to the 11th Plan.

The commission is also considering providing a one-time assistance to universities and colleges graded ‘C’ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) so as to bring them on a par with institutions graded ‘A’. Both these schemes will require a matching grant from the State governments.

A scheme to institutionalise ‘Internal Assessment Cells’ in all universities is also in the pipeline. Under this, the UGC will fund the creation of such cells headed by a professor of the university and having adequate staff.

Each cell will carry out a ‘self-assessment’ of that university based on 15 to 20 pre-determined quality criteria. The commission is also thinking of making assessment and accreditation of all universities and colleges a compulsory procedure, Dr. Thorat said.

The NAAC is revising its criteria for assessment and accreditation. It is also drawing up a list of 300 to 400 teachers, both serving and retired, who will be deputed to assess colleges. A critical component of quality enhancement is the presence of adequate number of qualified teachers in educational institutions.

States, including Kerala, should periodically take stock of their teacher strength. Education being a concurrent subject, the States should also be prepared to allocate more to this sector.

A UGC panel is studying the possibility of utilising the talents of those serving in research institutions and in the private sector.

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