Proposals of University Grants Commission for Govt Aid to Colleges

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is University Grants Commission (UGC)? 
  • What is National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF)?
  • News Summary: Proposals of UGC for Govt aid to colleges
  • Key highlights of the draft guidelines

Why in news?

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released new draft guidelines “UGC (Fitness of Colleges for Receiving Grants) Rules, 2024” for public comment.
  • If approved, the new guidelines will replace 1975 UGC guidelines that cover all institutions recognised by the commission.

What is University Grants Commission (UGC)?

  • Genesis:
    • The Sargeant Report was the first attempt to formulate a national system of education in India in 1944.
    • It recommended the formation of a University Grants Committee, which was established in 1945 and was tasked with dealing with all of the then-existing Universities in 1947.
    • Soon after independence, the University Education Commission was established (in 1948) under the chairmanship of Dr. S Radhakrishnan to report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions.
    • It proposed reorganizing the University Grants Committee along the lines of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom.
    • As a result, the UGC was formally inaugurated in 1953 by Maulana Abul Kalam, the then Minister of Education.
    • However, the UGC was established [by the Ministry of Education's Department of Higher Education] as a statutory body in November 1956 by the UGC Act 1956.
    • A proposal to replace UGC with another new regulatory body called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) is under consideration by the Government of India.
  • Mandate:
    • The UGC has the unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities of: 
      • Providing funds 
      • Coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education.

What is National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF)?

  • The NIRF was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD now Ministry of Education) in 2015 (first edition came in 2016).
  • This framework, which is the first-ever effort by the Government of India, outlines a methodology to rank HEIs across the country. 
  • While participation in the NIRF was initially voluntary, it became mandatory in 2018 for all government-run educational institutions.

News Summary: Proposals of UGC for Govt Aid to Colleges

  • UGC has released new draft guidelines “UGC (Fitness of Colleges for Receiving Grants) Rules, 2024”.
  • In this new draft, UGC has proposed several criteria to receive grants from the Centre.

Key highlights of the draft guidelines


  • The new rules will be applicable to every college affiliated to universities that are established by a central or under a state act under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956.
    • The UGC has made it mandatory for colleges to be listed under Section 2(f).
    • This section allows implementation of statutory rules across all colleges and holds colleges accountable to the UGC.
    • This was brought to maintain quality standards across all institutions.
  • The draft policy paves way for these colleges to get 12(B) status.
    • The 12(B) status only makes colleges eligible for funding.
  • This makes the college eligible for receiving grants from the UGC, Centre, and other funding agencies for varied academic and research activities. 

Eligibility criteria to receive grants:

  • The UGC has proposed that universities should: 
    • either have accreditation awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC); or
  • NAAC is primary body for assessing and accrediting higher education institutions.
  • have at least 60% of the programmes, in case a college offers more than three programmes accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
  • NBA is another statutory body that assess the qualitative competence of programmes.
  • In case a college offers less than three programmes, then each of the eligible programmes must have been accredited, the guidelines states.
  • If these institutes do not have both NAAC or NBA accreditation, then they should be ranked in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
    • They should be ranked in NIRF at least thrice after participating five times or at least twice after participating thrice.
  • The draft states that these colleges should charge a reasonable fee set by the government and should not ask for extra fees like capitation fees.
  • As per the draft, these colleges will be required to have at least 75% of the total sanctioned teaching posts filled and duly follow reservation policy.
    • Not just hired, but the teachers will have to be paid according to the UGC or Central or state government policy as well.

Application for recognition under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956:

  • The colleges can apply online on the UGC portal to be considered for recognition under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956.
  • The affiliating university will be responsible for examining this application and recommend the UGC for approval within 60 days. 
  • If at any point, the UGC finds a college in violation of its rule, their status can be withdrawn.

Q1) What is National Board of Accreditation (NBA)?

The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) is an autonomous body that assesses the quality of technical education in India. It was established in 1994 to evaluate the quality of programs offered by technical institutions. The NBA is one of two major bodies in India responsible for accrediting higher education institutions.

Q2) What is National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)?

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is a government organization in India that assesses and accredits higher education institutions (HEIs). The NAAC was established in 1994 by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to evaluate the performance of universities and colleges in the country. The NAAC is an autonomous body funded by the UGC and headquartered in Bangalore.

Source: Proposals for Govt aid: NAAC accreditation, NIRF ranking, 75% teachers as per quota | UGC | NIRF