Private colleges to be eligible for govt grants
Students and teachers in private colleges and universities would soon be eligible for government scholarships and research grants. The University Grants Commission has finalized a proposal to provide financial help to self-financing colleges. “The commission had discussed the proposal but no final decision has been made. The issue would be taken up in the next commission meeting,” UGC secretary RK Chauhan told Hindustan Times.
Once the proposal is cleared, private institutions would be able to seek financial grants from UGC from its various schemes for teachers and students, but not for development of infrastructure. Private medical and agriculture institutes would not be eligible.
In case of students, the UGC has identified remedial coaching for students of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, minority communities for various competitive examinations and traditional courses. Individual students would also be able to apply for undergraduate and post-graduate scholarships and fellowships. Those clearing NET will be able to compete Junior Research Fellowship.
Teachers who want to pursue research will get money from UGC for minor research projects. The institutes would be allowed to seek money from faculty improvement programs for doctoral and post-doctoral courses, the proposal states.
The UGC’s proposal aims at covering majority of Indian students, who are now in private institutions. Private bodies run about 70 per cent of the 80,000 colleges and half of 382 universities in India. The sector has grown the most in the last decade. “There is a need to recognize their (self-financing institutions) contribution and to include them as important entities of higher education fulfilling the dream of expansion of higher education,” the proposal explained.
The proposal, based on the recommendations of the expert committee headed by Dr Shivajirao Kadam, Vice-Chancellor of Bharati Vidyapeeth, says that private institutions can seek government grants as they are recognized under section 12 (b) of the UGC Act. The section allows private institutions to apply only under select schemes of UGC, which address individual teachers and students.