‘Want money? Show us your performance.’ This is what the University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex higher education body has told universities across India. In a major decision taken recently, the UGC has decided to disburse the money among universities based on their report cards and Rs300crore each will be given to top most performers.
The move aims to create a competitive spirit amongst the higher education campuses within the country so that few years down the line they can compete globally.
The higher education budget in the eleventh plan was 84,500 crores. Despite such huge funding, not a single Indian higher education institute is ranked among the top 200 institutes in TIME and other international rankings in the last few years. The poor quality of education and research at Indian campuses is to be blamed for that.
Prof Ved Prakash, chairman of UGC, told DNA, ‘Universities will now have to compete with the sister varsities if they want to receive funds from us. Financial assistance of Rs.300 crore (each) will be given to only those varsities that show competence and have a potential to compete globally.”
Though the UGC will continue to provide basic funds to varsities for their functioning, the academic and research performance will be taken into account for the additional Rs300 crore, says Prof Prakash who was in Mumbai on Saturday to deliver the Kashinath Telang Memorial lecture at the University of Mumbai.
In this regard, the UGC has written a letter to all varsities to identify four to five knowledge domains in which they are competent and, by focussing on those domains, can catch up with the world in four to five years. The excellence of these departments at a particular varsity will decide whether the varsity will get Rs300 from the UGC. The varsities have been asked to set goals for themselves, to develop a culture of competition.
“A competition is must to identify good varsities and provide them with enhanced funding … our varsities need to instil competition within themselves and also with sister varsities,” says Prof Prakash.