Breaking! New UGC scheme for Higher Education launched

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to promote quality assurance in Higher Education, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today launched  University Grants Commission (UGC) Scheme of ‘Paramarsh.’


The scheme is aimed at mentoring National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) Accreditation Aspirant Institutions to promote Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Initially 71 universities and 391 colleges with NAAC score of 3.26 and above will mentor five colleges each.

Under the Paramarsh scheme, the leading institutions will provide regular mentoring to help colleges achieve high quality standards. The scheme also proposes to provide financial assistance to the mentoring institutions and the option of appointing an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs 31,000 per month.

“The scheme will be a paradigm shift in the concept of mentoring of institution by another well performing institution to upgrade their academic performance and enable them to get accredited by focusing in the area of curricular aspects, teaching-learning & evaluation, research, innovation, institutional values & practices etc,” Speaking on the occasion,” the Minister said.

The scheme is expected to have a major impact in addressing a national challenge of improving the quality of Higher Education in India.

Sharing information about the scheme, the Minister said the Scheme will be operationalized through a “Hub & Spoke” model wherein the Mentor Institution, called the “Hub” is centralized and will have the responsibility of guiding the Mentee institution through the secondary branches the “Spoke” through the services provided to the mentee for self improvement. This allows a centralized control over operational efficiency, resource utilization to attain overall development of the mentee institution.

The scheme aims at enhancement of overall quality of the Mentee Institutions and its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies. Mentee Institution will also have increased exposure and speedier adaptation to best practices. “Paramarsh” scheme will also facilitate sharing of knowledge, information and opportunities for research collaboration and faculty development in Mentee Institutions.

The eligibility guidelines laid down by UGC say the mentor and the mentee can be government, aided, private or self-financing institution. “The mentor institution should be NAAC accredited with an A grade, having an overall score of 3.26 and above. Any such institution recognised under 2(f) & 12B of the UGC Act 1956 will be eligible to receive UGC grants for the purpose.

Since these grants will be used for mentoring the institution and not for creation of any infrastructure, the private institution can also receive funding as they do for student teacher centric schemes,” the guidelines stated.

The “Paramarsh” scheme will target 1000 Higher Education Institutions for mentoring with a specific focus on quality as enumerated in the UGC “Quality Mandate”. Mentor-Mentee relationship will not only benefit both the institutions but also provide quality education to the 3.6 crore students who are enrolling to Indian Higher Education system at present.

(With IANS and PIB Inputs)