After tightening the noose around deemed universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has turned its focus to streamlining affiliation of colleges to various universities.
The recently notified UGC Regulation, 2009 (Affiliation of Colleges by Universities), stipulates stringent norms for grant of affiliation by universities to aspiring colleges. It has also set tough targets for already affiliated ones.
There are about 22,000 affiliated colleges in India, most of them to 256 state universities. Lakhs of students are pursuing various courses in these colleges. UGC has asked the state and 41 central universities to strictly follow the new regulations with immediate effect, failing which the UGC can delist the universities or force universities to withdraw affiliation from institutions for violation.
The new norms have been formulated on the basis of several complaints of corruption and malpractices received by the human resource development (HRD) ministry and UGC. Officials in the ministry said many affiliated colleges were being run from two-room houses in the absence of proper regulations.
The affiliated colleges were so far following UGC’s 2000-01 guidelines, which were advisory in nature. The new regulations are binding on the institutions and the violations are punitive.
As per new regulations, new colleges will be given a permanent affiliation only after testing its infrastructure and quality of education. Old colleges too have to conform.
The new norms bar colleges from charging arbitrary fee from students. Collection of capitation fee or donation or use of any other corrupt practices has been banned. Colleges will have to take care of development plans for SC/ST/OBC and minority community students.
The appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff has to be based on merit. They have to be paid full salaries as per pay scales prescribed by UGC or the Centre.
Aspiring colleges also must have at least two acres of land and facilities in metro cities or five acres of area with adequate infrastructure in non-metros to get affiliation.
An institution needs to create and maintain corpus funds between Rs15-35 lakh to meet any exigency.