Brain Gain policy: Govt exempts 14 varsities from CAG
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Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2009, 23:54
New Delhi: Complete autonomy, exemption from audit by CAG and creation of special research endowment fund could be the key features of 14 National Universities of world-class standard proposed to be set up by the Government.

Aiming to develop these universities as 'global centres of innovation, the HRD Ministry has prepared a concept note on institutions proposed to be set up in the 11th Plan.

These universities will be kept out of the purview of existing regulatory bodies in higher education in academic matters.

"The government shall ensure that the governance structure of the university shall be tuned to towards ensuring autonomy over all matter, specially academic matters, including but not limited to admissions, curriculum, research, assessment, award of degrees, selection of members of the professoiorate and the basic direction of the academic work in the university," the concept note said.

The autonomy will be at various levels -- at the level of university via-a-vis government, at the level of faculty vis-a-vis the university and at the level of researcher via-a-vis the faculty.

These proposed universities will get Research Endowment Fund of an amount less than Rs 200 crore each annually.

Following the preparation of the concept note, the Ministry will make a draft bill on setting up the universities which will go to the cabinet for approval and then placed before Parliament.

The universities will have the freedom to get funding from non-governmental sources subject to condition that it will not be from dubious or unverified sources.

An research peer group, comprising eminent academicians, will evaluate the research proposals. The varsities will have the freedom to decide remuneration for research personnel.

As a major exemption, the transactions of these universities will be kept out of the purview of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

The Comptroller and Auditor General's (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Services) Act 1971 will be amended for the purpose. Accountability will be ensured by the review of the academic research peer group for research work and teachers peer group for course work and teaching.

"To that end, scrutiny and accountability shall be defined by outcomes rather than processes," the note said.

The universities will be free to establish Chairs of Studies with funding through non-government endowments.

Similarly, the universities will have freedom to make appointments by invitation based on the recommendations of a standing search committee.

"Recognising that brilliance is not a factor of age of a person or years spent in research, the appointment by invitation shall not be subject to limitations of age or years of experience of the considered candidate," the concept note said.

The teachers will have full freedom to structure the pedagogy. The class room shall also be freed from the boundaries of physical space.

The universities will have freedom to define the pay structure of faculty through negotiated arrangements.

The government will seek assistance of eminent persons such as Nobel laureates to act as anchors to guide, promote and lead the university to achieve world class standards.

To ensure that quality faculty of foreign nationality join these universities, the government may amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 which does not allow persons of Indian origin, who are citizens of another country, to be appointed to public services and posts.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 10, 2009, 23:54

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