December 16, 2016
India Minister updates Parliament on Universities in the Country
Photo: A Section of Parliament House, New Delhi. Image Credit: Ankur Gallery.
New Delhi, India - December 15, 2016 — India Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, today, in separate written statements, gave the following information to Rajya Sabha (upper house) about universities in the country.
• “As per All India Survey on Higher Education 2015-16, the number of universities in the country is 799, and out of them 386 Universities came into existence since 2001. The number of students and teachers in the institutions of higher education in the country during academic year 2015-16 are 3.46 Crore (one crore= ten million) and 15.19 Lakh (one lakh= one hundred thousand) respectively.”
• “The University Grants Commission (UGC),” the Minister explained, “is responsible for promotion and co-ordination of University Education, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination, and research in Universities. To ensure adequate quality teaching faculties in Universities/Colleges, the UGC has notified rules and procedures containing Academic Performance Indicators (APIs). API scores are mandatory qualifying benchmarks for Career Advancement Scheme and for direct recruitment of teachers and other academic staff in Universities and Colleges.”
• The Minister gave the following information on Central Universities.
“Central Universities,” the Minister stated “are statutory autonomous bodies which are established under their respective Acts of Parliament. Subordinate legislation in respect of Central Universities includes Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations framed under the respective Acts by the Universities from time to time.”
“Along with the Act, the First Statutes of the Central Universities are passed by the Parliament. The Central Universities can amend, add or repeal any Statute with the approval of the Visitor. Ordinances and Regulations are also made by the Universities which should be consistent with the Act and Statutes of the university concerned,” the Minister explained.
The Minister said that at present there are 41 Central Universities in the country.
“In a meeting held with the Vice Chancellors of Central Universities,” the Minister elaborated, “the issues relating to improvement of quality of education, promoting research and innovation, faculty development, collaboration with the industry and research laboratories, effective use of technology in teaching learning process, and mandatory accreditation were discussed at length.”
The Minister elucidated that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has introduced the following schemes/regulations/guidelines/programmes for the improvement of quality and standards in the Central Universities:
- Mandatory accreditation of Universities with National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
- Periodic updation of curriculum.
- Prescription of minimum qualification for appointment of teachers and other academic staff.
- Establishment of Internal Quality Assurance Cell.
- Introduction of Semester System.
- Introduction of choice-based credit system.
- Introduction of Faculty Recharge programme to augment research and teaching resources.
- Liberal financial support under the schemes of University with Potential for Excellence.
• Cashless Society - Digital Financial Literacy Campaign
Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, launching the Digital Financial Literacy Campaign, called Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan - VISAKA, at a press conference, in New Delhi, on December 15, 2016. Image provided by the Press Information Bureau, Government of India.
Meanwhile, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, today launched Digital Financial Literacy Campaign at a Press Conference in New Delhi. Mr. Javadekar said that about 25,00,000 students of higher educational institutions are expected to volunteer to be associated with the campaign.
Mentioning this campaign as biggest digital transformation of country after Independence, Minister said that Government officers, Bankers and administrators will be roped in to impart training to students. Students, in turn, will educate their family members and other families in their neighbourhood, motivating them to go in for digital payment.