The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced draft norms for facilitating foreign universities and educational institutions to set up campuses in India which allow them autonomy in decision making. The final norms will be notified by the end of the month after feedback from all stakeholders.


What are the draft Norms announced by the UGC?

  • University Grants commission chief M Jagadesh Kumar has stated draft regulations for foreign universities setting up campuses in India.
  • The draft includes the following guidelines –
      • Criteria – A foreign university with a rank among the top 500 global rankings or a foreign educational institution of repute in home jurisdiction can apply to the UGC to set up a campus in India.
      • Application Process –
        • The application will be considered by a standing committee appointed by the UGC which will submit its recommendations within 45 days after examining the institution’s credibility.
        • Subsequently, within 45 days, the UGC may grant in-principle approval to the foreign institution to set up campuses in India within two years.
        • The initial approval will be for 10 years, which can be extended.
      • Reasonable Fees –
        • Such a campus can evolve its own admission process and criteria to admit domestic and foreign students.
        • It will also have autonomy to decide its fee structure, and will face no caps that are imposed on Indian institutions.
        • The fee should be “reasonable and transparent”.
      • Mode of Teaching –
        • It will also have autonomy to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad.
        • The courses to be offered cannot be in online and open and distance learning mode.
        • The qualifications awarded to the students in the Indian campus should have equivalence with those awarded by the institutions in their country of origin.
      • Fund Management –
        • Foreign universities will be allowed to repatriate funds to parent campuses.
        • Cross-border movement of funds and maintenance of Foreign Currency Accounts, mode of payments, remittance, repatriation, and sale of proceeds, if any, will be as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999 and its Rules.


About the UGC

  • The Sargent 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 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras, and Delhi.
  • 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 reorganising the University Grants Committee along the lines of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom, with a full-time Chairman and other members.
  • As a result, the UGC was formally inaugurated in 1953 by Maulana Abul Kalam, the then Minister of Education, Natural Resources, and Scientific Research.
  • However, the UGC was established as a statutory body in November 1956 by the UGC Act 1956.
  • It is set up by the Ministry of Education’s Department of Higher Education.
  • A proposal to replace it with another new regulatory body called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) is under consideration by the Government of India.