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Devbrat Patnaik

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has informed that it has decided to grant Autonomy to 62 Universities (5 Central Universities, 21 State Universities, 34 Deemed to be Universities and 2 Private Universities) across the Country. These Universities have been selected on the basis of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) ratings.

The Institutions having a NAAC score of 3.5 and above, have been placed in Category I, the Institutions having a NAAC score of 3.26 to 3.5 have been placed in Category II and the remaining are placed in Category III.

The UGC has Notified UGC [Categorisation of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy] Regulations, 2018 on 12th February, 2018. According to these Regulations, the Commission shall fix dates (at least two times in a year, preferably 1st of June and 1st of December) by which an institution shall submit a request in prescribed format for categorization under these Regulations.

The dates so fixed shall be notified at least six months in advance. All such applications shall be scrutinized by the Commission and orders on Categorization shall be passed within thirty days from the last date specified for the receipt of such applications. During this period, the Commission shall also place such application on its website.

No MOU has been inked between any of the Universities, UGC and the Ministry.

Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA) has not been under active consideration of the Ministry hence, applications have not been invited for loans under this scheme.

However, Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), a not-for-profit organisation, has been set up to leverage funds from the market using market-based instruments duly scrutinizing the future flows that the institutions command. The total authorized equity capital of HEFA has been raised to Rs.10,000 crores, with the facility to leverage additional resources from market, based on requirement.

An additional Government Equity of Rs.5,000 crores, apart from the existing Rs.1,000 crores has been approved. So far, the applications of 17 IITs and 2 NITs have been considered and approved for giving loans under this scheme.

The HEFA Board has so far given in-principle approval to projects amounting to Rs.10,065.37 crores. Of these, an amount of Rs.5,260.90 crores has been approved so far.

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