HYDERABAD: The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of Ministry of HRD, which was thought to be just limited to rankings, will now have an important role to play in autonomy of universities. A new regulation by University Grants Commission, UGC (Categorisation of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, 2017 seeks to categorise Central and state universities into three categories - Category I, II and III — based on the NAAC score and NIRF ranking.
Lot of autonomy for Category-I
The autonomy for Category-I or II institutions include no inspections by UGC. In case external review is required, Category-I can just send a report to UGC in a prescribed format, whereas Category-II institute can just hold a review by members selected by itself with representatives from Category-I institution.
A category-I institute can start new courses, school or department in self financing mode for disciplines that form part of its academic framework without approval of UGC. It can also open research parks or incubation centres on its own or in partnership with private players without approval.
Hiring of foreign faculty will become possible for Category-I institutes. A Category-I institute can hire foreign faculty from any university ranked in top 500 in well known global rankings, without approval of UGC. It can also admit foreign students on merit, 20 per cent more than a course’s sanctioned strength.
The regulations also give independence to Category-I institutions to develop their own incentive structure to attract good faculty, however this will need permission from UGC.
Categorisation of universities
Universities with score 3.5 or above by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and ranked among top 50 universities in the country under NIRF for two consecutive years will come under Category-I
Universities getting NAAC score between 3.01 and 3.49 and get ranked 51-100 in NIRF will be Category-II Remaining other universities will be Category-III
UoH will be only Category-I in TS, AP
As per the norms of the new regulations only University of Hyderabad will fall in category-I from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as it satisfies both criteria. Osmania University can also be in Category-I as it has been ranked twice consecutively in top 50 in NIRF but it has to first score 3.5 or above by NAAC which looks difficult with its present condition.