‘World class’ Tag May Hike Fees for Indian Universities

The best universities and technical establishments in India that can potentially be tagged as ‘world class’ might be given provision to set up their own system for tuition fees, this has been triggering worries of steep fees for students.


This tag can be applied to Government-run education institutions as long as they meet certain criteria. Among other features, this includes position in the top 25 institutes as per the National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF) and a suitable faulty-student ratio. Both private and public universities also need to have modern labs and adequate campus space to allow for expansion.


So far, several universities including some IITs, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, and the University of Hyderabad have the NIRF ranking.


The set criteria vary slightly for private and for deemed universities. 10 private institutes that have the status of world-class will be given the freedom to set their own fees but these universities will have to do without any financial backing from the government.


Private institutions are required to have corpus of 200 crores along with a pipeline for a further 500 crores. They also need to have a plan to have additional resources of not less than 10000 to available on demand


According to a government official, although a mechanism will be introduced to allow certain universities to raise their fees, they will not need to raise the fees at all if they are able to gain adequate funding from other sources.


As part of the 2016-17 budget, the Govt. has prepared to set up 20 institutes – half of which are for private establishments.  It is the UGC or the University Grants Commission that has a set of guidelines for these institutes. These are available for scrutiny and feedback until the 28th of October.


According to the guidelines, government institutes have been given the freedom to control the fees for domestic students as long as they comply with the rules set up by regulatory councils. It also states that students cannot be sent away for being unable to pay the fees. These students must be given education loans and scholarships. These institutes are allowed to keep aside 30% of their seats for foreign students and be allowed to fix the fee for foreign students without restrictions.


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