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
"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
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
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
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
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.