Guru Nanak Dev University enters UGC elite category, gets more autonomy
GNDU now has the power to have new departments, courses, schools, off-campus facilities, distance education programmes and the freedom to hire foreign faculty without UGC’s approvalpunjab Updated: Feb 16, 2018 10:11 IST
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has become the only university of the region — Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh — to get the elite category-1 status by the University Grants Commission (UGC), giving it powers to have new departments, courses, schools, off-campus facilities and distance education programmes, besides the freedom to hire foreign faculty without the UGC’s approval.
The GNDU emerged in the top bracket of Indian universities as the human resources of ministry, on the advice of the federal think tank NITI Aayog, announced far-reaching reforms in higher education by liberating top performing universities, granting full academic autonomy, so that they can compete with the world’s top universities, officials at the GNDU said.
“This status has put more responsibility on our shoulders.” — Jaspal Sandhu, vice-chancellor of GNDU.
Others in the region — Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Punjabi University, Patiala, which have been given a score of 3.5 out of 5 and 3.34, respectively, by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) — are category-2 as per the notification of UGC (Categorisation of Universities only) Grant of Graded Autonomy Regulation 2018, dated February 12.
In the notification, the UGC has put universities having NAAC score of above 3.5 — or similar score on one of the other accepted ratings — as category-1. Category-2 universities will be those with NAAC score of 3.26 and above, up to 3.50; and the rest are category-3.
Category-1 universities can build in an incentive structure to attract talented faculty, with the condition that the incentive structure shall have to be paid from their own revenue sources.
“This status has put more responsibility on our shoulders,” said Jaspal Sandhu, vice-chancellor of GNDU.
Punjabi University V-C BS Ghuman said though the autonomy is much delayed but the right step. “Full academic autonomy will help university design new courses as per world-class patterns,” he said, adding though his university missed category-1 classification, “we will strive hard to earn it next year”.