The human resource development ministry is introducing a carrot and stick approach under which the performing universities will get greater autonomy and poor performers will get their funding cut.
To implement the initiative, the ministry will divide the universities into three categories based on their performance on several parameters including the teaching-learning environment, research and industry income.
India has currently 759 universities including 47 central universities, 350 state-run universities, 239 private universities and 123 deemed-to-be universities.
At least 37,000 colleges are affiliated to these institutions and it is believed that the performance of a university impacts the education outcome of a majority of the affiliated collages.
HRD ministry official, who declined to be named, said that while the ministry is mulling “maximum autonomy” to top performers in the classification list, the category C universities will see a fund cut.
Government-supported universities and colleges at the central and state level get funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC). “Many government colleges and universities are not up to the mark. The move will wake them up from the slumber,” the official said.
The official said the plan is on the table and a decision on this will be taken soon.
According to the official, the top performers will get maximum autonomy—up to 90%, the B-category will get 50% autonomy and the C category will undergo maximum regulation and scrutiny.
Maximum autonomy may entail freedom in deciding course structure, course fees, research partnership and little interference in the regular academic and administrative functioning of these institutions.
The worst entails regular audits, more scrutiny by regulators such as UGC and All India Council of Technical Education, more disclosures, restricted permission to start new courses or expand existing ones.