More autonomy for central, top state varsities: UGC

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a set of regulations aimed at decentralising power. This will allow central universities such as Delhi University to launch new departments, programmes, schools and centres without the regulator’s approval.

The UGC, the country’s higher education regulator, will extend the privilege to top-performing state universities as well.

The UGC (Categorization of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations 2018 was approved at a meeting of the commission.


  1. Top-ranking institutions will now be relatively free of the UGC’s regulatory control. The proposal will now be sent to the human resource development (HRD) ministry for its consent before a notification is sent out.
  2. The regulations divide all UGC-recognised public, private and deemed universities into three categories, each of which will get different degrees of autonomy.
  3. Universities accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which assesses and accredits higher education Institutions, with a score of at least 3.5 or above will be parked in Category I.
  4. These universities will be free to start a new course, department and school, fix their fee structure for self-financing programmes, and collaborate with foreign educational institutions without seeking the UGC’s permission.
  5. Also, such universities will be exempt from the UGC’s regular inspections. These will be appraised on the basis of self-reporting.
  6. The commission will also allow these institutions to hire international talent, ranging up to 20% of its total faculty strength and fill up to 20% of its seats with students from other countries.


To be eligible for Category II, universities should have the NAAC accreditation with a score between 3.25 and 3.5. The first two categories will be accorded greater autonomy by the UGC. Institutions in Category III will be the most regulated and will not enjoy any of the exemptions. The UGC will put out dates, at least twice a year, for universities to place a request seeking the category they want to be.

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