Chennai: The central government is planning to introduce a code of conduct for central universities to bring about transparency and autonomy with accountability through self-regulation, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Monday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 98th Indian Science Congress here, Sibal said the ministry recognises that universities have their own culture, nuances and sensitivities and they also need to be cautious while offering their facilities for commercial use.
"But we now need to make a beginning. We plan to introduce a code of conduct initially to be adopted by the central universities, and later perhaps by state universities and others, to facilitate flexibility and autonomy in the university system," said the minister.
Sibal, who also holds the portfolio of science and technology, explained that the code aims to bring about efficiency, transparency and autonomy with accountability through self-regulation.
"It envisages a set of standards of accountable behaviour, both at the individual and institutional level that can foster competence and excellence in the university system with the minimum of internal and/or external interference," he said.
Emphasising the need for a new paradigm of higher education, Sibal said: "We have to prepare learners to be contributors to knowledge generation and not just mere passive recipients of knowledge."
"This will not only develop human capital but also social capital that will enable our youth to work and compete globally. This then is the challenge for us."
Sibal said to meet this challenge the ministry is working on the concept of having Navratna Universities or an Indian Ivy League.
"We intend to nurture these select universities, like the public sector Navratnas, by generous financial support, freedom in accessing external funding and total autonomy so as to free them from the shackles of government control," he said.
"In regard to our existing Navratnas - the IITs and IIMs - we are according full powers to their boards to create posts within the approved norms, top up the salaries of the directors and faculty from the funds generated by them."
These institutions can approve their own budget and manage funds generated on their own, the minister pointed out.
According to him, the central government aims to double the enrolment in higher education to at least 30 percent by 2020.
Sibal also said the ministry is planning to set up a National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) to regulate higher education.