In a bid to have similar higher standard of education in the new 14 Central Universities proposed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the government wants to bring a uniform legislation to govern them all. The new universities would cost government Rs Rs 41,802 crore.
According to a senior government official, the HRD ministry will come with a draft law for all the new universities to have uniform high standards of excellence. Recently, Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia had told HT that the government intends to develop these institutes into “centers of excellence” at part with one of the best in the world.
The decision to have a uniform legislation is said to be a step in this direction. HRD ministry officials, who deliberated on the issue on Monday, said uniform legislation would ensure better regulation and maintaining of high standards of education. “It will also give a sort of uniformity to higher education system in India, which is lacking,” a ministry official said.
The government has also proposed that the new Central universities should be modeled on Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the only university in the country among top 200 in the world.
The proposed law will also ensure linkages between Central universities enabling easy mobility of students from one university into another and a centralized admission system. However, the HRD ministry has some reservation on whether the centralized admission system would be possible for graduate and post-graduate studies in arts or commerce as evaluating students’ ability through a test may not be possible.
Government officials also said the proposed law will frame complete autonomy for these universities based on JNU governance model to check “political interference” in appointment of vice-chancellors and faculty. The law would provide complete autonomy to the executive and academic council on how to run the university within University Grants Commission guidelines.
The government also plans that 14 Central Universities will have an engineering school, a management school and a law school. But, the decision on the fees to be charges will rest with the university, an official said. The Planning Commission had recommended that the fee for undergraduate courses should be Rs 12,000 per annum with 40 per cent of students getting substantial scholarships. “The fee structure should cover 20 per cent of the cost for running the university,” the official said.