Exclusive: Draft on Regulations and Guidelines for Establishment of 20 World Class Institutions ready: Ministry of HRD invites public views and comments

By Rudra Narayan Sahoo, New Delhi: The government of India has already decided and started the policy formulation  to establish ten World Class Institutions each in public and private sector in a reasonable time by providing an enabling regulatory environment that allow them to achieve the highest levels of global excellence in teaching and research. Draft on Regulations and Guidelines for Establishment of 20 World Class Institutions is ready while Ministry of Human Resources Development has invited public comments latest by October 2016.

As per the draft proposal, the entire process of establishment of 20 World Class Institutions will have following regulatory architecture proposed by the University of Grants Commission:  UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines, 2016, which would be applicable to all government owned & controlled Higher Educational Institutions; UGC (World Class Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016, which would be applicable to both privately owned & controlled and government owned & controlled Higher Educational Institutions.

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These draft Guidelines & Regulations contain eligibility criteria, selection procedure, other Regulatory aspects, monitoring & evaluation, etc for World Class Institutions. These documents are based on various factors, trends  and characteristics  of institutions which are world class. These are as followed: quality teaching and research standards preferably in multi-disciplinary areas; a significant proportion of international and meritorious students; a reasonably good proportion of qualified faculty from high-ranked universities worldwide; transparent and need-blind system to ensure intake of meritorious students; a healthy faculty student ratio; and well-equipped facilities for teaching, research, administration and student-life.

Further, adequate infrastructure for operations and expansion; autonomous governance structures; financial soundness through either a large corpus fund or recourse to public funding, teaching; and research collaborations with reputed global universities  are important features have been incorporated in the policy document.

The draft Guidelines & Regulations also provides for admission procedure, fixing appropriate fee structures pursuant to internal policies, appointment of faculty, collaboration with foreign higher educational institutions, and design and offer courses in existing programmes and new areas. Additionally, these institutions shall have complete financial autonomy to spend the resources raised and allocated.

The Regulation provides for setting up of an Empowered Experts Committee (EEC) by UGC with the approval of Government. The functions and composition of the EEC is defined in the Regulation which includes involvement in the process of selection and establishment of World Class Institutions. In particular, these would include scrutiny and appraisal of the proposals submitted, making recommendations, as well as monitoring and review of the implementation plans. The EEC is also empowered to evolve such other monitoring and review systems with the objective of guiding and supervising the growth of the Institution. The guideline also provides for financial assistance to Government Institutions selected as World Class Institutions.

The Guidelines and the Regulations shall be finalised after considering the views and suggestions through public consultations. The approval of Government shall be sought for entire scheme of World Class Institutions including the financial commitment. After obtaining the approval of the Government, the Guidelines and the Regulations shall be notified and expression of Interest shall be called for selection of world class institutions as per notified guidelines and the Regulations.

The proposed Guidelines and the Regulations  mentioned that  the World Class Institution Deemed to be University should come in top five hundred of any of the world renowned ranking frameworks (such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or QS or Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University) in the first ten years of setting up or being declared as World Class Institution, and come in the top one hundred eventually over time.

The draft of UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as World Class Institutions) Guidelines, 2016 has outlined that eligibility criteria for Government owned and controlled Institutions to become World Class Institution. Total ten Institutions under this category shall be selected to be declared as World Class Institutions. These ten Institutions would be a mix of technical institutions, management and arts institutions and central universities. These Institutions should figure in the top twenty five of the ranking in their category under the National Institution Ranking Framework released on April 1st 2016.  Institutions finding place in top five hundred of some of the internationally recognized ranking frameworks such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or QS or SJTU (Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University) would also be eligible for inclusion in the programme.

The Ministry of HRD has informed that comments/views/suggestions on draft Guidelines and Regulations for establishment of World Class Institutions can be sent latest by 28 October 2016 on email wci-mhrd@gov.in OR in hard copies at R.N.405-C, Dept. of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

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