The University Grants Commission has published the UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) (Amendments) Regulations, 2021 in Official Gazette. As per amendments made to the existing regulation, Institutions of Eminence (IoE) will now be able to set up campuses outside India. With reference to Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 377, Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank highlighted this amendment in response to the query raised by Shri Sushil Kumar Gupta. Gupta asked the Education Minister to shed light upon the matter of whether IoEs can set up campuses abroad now that the UGC has issued fresh guidelines.
The University Grants Commission has made certain amendments to the previously existing UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017. The amended regulations (2021) has been published in Official Gazette dated January 01, 2021. The details related to empowering IoEs to set up campuses abroad is indicated in the regulation 11.8 of the amended UGC regulation.
The Education Minister provided the direct link of the UGC Official Gazette in his statements which details the regulations regarding IoEs setting up campuses abroad. As per regulation 11.8, IoEs will be able to set up campuses abroad with the prior approval of the Ministry of Education. For this, such Institutions have to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India first.
IoEs are allowed to set up such off-shore campuses provided that they maintain similar norms & standards as implemented in the main campus. Excerpts from the regulation read “The Off-Shore campus shall also follow similar admission criteria, curriculum, examination system, and evaluation system”. Such institutes have to display all the information about the off-shore campus on their official website.
As per sub-regulation 11.8.2 of the UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) (Amendments) Regulations, 2021 the performance of such off-shore campuses set by the IoEs will be received by an Empowered Experts Committee either independently or along with the IoE in view of provisions indicates in the Official Gazette. If such a committee finds the performance of the off-shore campus unsatisfactory, then they can recommend the Central Government discontinuation of the campus. In such cases, the concerned IoE have to protect the rights & interests of the students enrolled at the concerned off-shore campus.
The UGC grants the status of Institution of Emminence as per provisions of the aforementioned regulations. Currently, public institutions namely the IITs in Delhi, Bombay, Madras & Kharagpur, IISc Bangalore, Banaras Hindu University, University of Hyderabad, Jadavpur University, University of Delhi and Anna University are recognized as Institutions of Eminence.
Similarly, selected private institutions, namely, BITS Pilani, Vellore Institute of Technology, Shiv Nadar University, Mahipal Academy of Higher Education, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Jio Institute, Jamia Hamdard, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bharti Institute (Sathya Bharti Foundation) and P. Jindal Global University are recognized as Institutions of Eminence.