In a bid to incentivise excellence in higher education, the goverment plans to ensure top ranked colleges and universities enjoy full autonomy in framing curriculum and hiring faculty , human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar has said.
In an exclusive conversation with TOI, Javadekar said the higher education regulators UGC and AICTE had become “stumbling blocks“ requiring reform and said a major shift in policy is underway that is intended to incentivise research, innovation and quality learning.
“We have decided autonomous colleges, barring the degree awarded in the name of the university , will decide every other aspect such as curriculum, conduct of examination, hire of professors or introduction of new courses. We want more autonomous colleges selected on merit based on NAAC rating and NIRF (National Institute of Ranking Framework) rankings,“ said Javadekar.
The specifics of how the plan for graded autonomy based on rankings will roll out have now been finalised. The decisions have been taken in line with reforms worked out for regulatory authorities like University Grants Commis sion and All India Council for Technical Education.
“We are making a major shift by granting best institutions, which have been consistently getting A grade or B+ grade in NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council), with more freedom of action. Middle level institutes will have 50% autonomy and the third level of institutes more regulation.“
The minister said that the idea is to do away with governmental or uni versity-level interven tions that hurt function ing of good institutions.
“They should be left to excel, to scale further heights and it will be a competition among the best institutes. It will also be a challenge for the middle level institutes to become good,“ he said.
According to Jadavekar, a university will get 30 days to approve proposals of autonomous institutions affiliated to it. “We are refoming the UGC and essentially it will be graded autonomy and funding will be in that direction. Less interference and less regulation for good institutions.“
Javadekar assured education will not become more expensive. “This is not about education becoming expensive. It should be reasonable. However, autonomy is about giving them academic freedom. We don't want such institutions to get stuck (in red tapism).“