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Revised Guidelines for Deemed University

  Apr 14, 2023

Revised Guidelines for Deemed University Status

Q Why is it in News ?

A Central Idea

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released revised guidelines allowing higher education institutions to apply for deemed university status.
  • The new guidelines aim to establish more quality-focused deemed universities by simplifying the eligibility criteria.
  • Light but tight regulatory framework: The guidelines are based on the principle of a “light but tight” regulatory framework envisioned in the National Education Policy 2020.

About University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • UGC is a statutory body under the University Grants Commission Act, of 1956.
  • It is charged with the task of coordinating and maintaining standards of higher education in India.
  • It provides recognition to universities and also allocates funds to universities and colleges.
  • It is headquartered are in New Delhi, and it also has 6 regional centres.
  • All grants to universities and higher learning institutions are handled by the UGC.
  • In 2015-16, the Union government initiated a National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) under UGC to rank all educational institutes.


Q What is Deemed University?

A A Deemed University is a status granted to higher educational institutions in India by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) under the Ministry of Education based on the recommendation of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

  State University Deemed University
Establishment Created by state government through legislative assembly act Granted autonomy by the UGC based on academic and research merits
Funding Fully funded by the state government Self-funded
Fee Structure Regulated and streamlined according to government guidelines Freedom to set their own fee structure
Curriculum Regulated and aligned with UGC guidelines Autonomy to design their own courses and curriculum
Research Research programs and activities aligned with government norms Emphasis on research with credible research output
Infrastructure Facilities and infrastructure as per government provisions State-of-the-art infrastructure
Affiliated Institutes Can have affiliated colleges and institutes Generally have a single institution
Admission Process Follows state government guidelines for admissions Can set their own admission policies and criteria
Degree Granting Authorized to award degrees and diplomas Authorized to award degrees and diplomas
Flexibility Governed by UGC regulations and guidelines Autonomy in decision-making and flexibility in operations


Q What are the New changes introduced ?


Eligibility Criteria and Changes

  • Previous eligibility criteria: Under the 2019 guidelines, institutions with an existence of at least 20 years were eligible to apply for deemed university status.
  • Revised eligibility criteria: The revised guidelines replace the previous criteria with requirements such as multi-disciplinarity, NAAC grading, NIRF ranking, and NBA grading.
  • Criteria for application: Institutions with valid accreditation by NAAC, NBA accreditation for eligible programs, or ranking in the top 50 of specific categories in NIRF for the last three years can apply for deemed university status.


Cluster of Institutions and Distinct Institution Category


  • Cluster of institutions: A cluster of institutions managed by multiple sponsoring bodies or a society can also apply for deemed university status.
  • Distinct Institution category: The guidelines introduce the “Distinct Institution” category, exempting institutions focusing on unique disciplines, addressing strategic needs, preserving Indian cultural heritage or the environment, dedicated to skill development, sports, languages, or other disciplines determined by the Expert Committee.


Changes in Faculty Strength and Corpus Fund

  • Increased faculty strength: The revised guidelines increase the required faculty strength from 100 to 150.
  • Increased corpus fund for private institutions: The corpus fund requirement for private institutions has been increased from Rs 10 crore to Rs 25 crore.


Executive Councils and Academic Bank of Credits

  • Creation of executive councils: Private universities seeking deemed university status will be required to create executive councils, similar to central universities.
  • Mandatory registration on Academic Bank of Credits: Deemed universities must register on the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) and can offer twinning programs, joint degree programs, and dual degree programs.


Off-Campus Centers and Future Plans

  • Off-campus centers eligibility: Deemed universities with a minimum ‘A’ grade or ranked from 1 to 100 in the “universities” category of NIRF rankings are eligible to establish off-campus centers.
  • Future removal of “deemed to be university” term: The UGC chairperson stated that the term “deemed to be university” will be removed once the Higher Education Commission of India is established through an act of Parliament.
  • Current number of deemed institutions: Currently, there are around 170 deemed institutions in the country.