University Grants Commission - UPSC Notes

Established in 1953, the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India comes under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) with its head office located in New Delhi. 

Students preparing for the IAS Exam or any other Government Exam should be aware of this topic. 

This topic can be classified under “Education” in General Studies paper 2 of the UPSC Syllabus

IAS aspirants can correlate such topics with current affairs in order to score more.

University Grants Commission – UGC 

The UGC was established in 1953 and made into a statutory organisation with the UGC Act in 1956.

  • UGC is responsible for coordinating, determining and maintaining standards of higher education.
  • The University Grants Commission provides recognition to universities in India and disburses funds to such recognised universities and colleges.
  • The UGC has its Head Office in New Delhi and six regional offices:
    • Bengaluru
    • Bhopal
    • Guwahati
    • Hyderabad
    • Kolkata
    • Pune
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced its plans to repeal the UGC Act, 1956. 
  • The bill also stipulates the formation of a new body, the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).
  • The attempts to formalise a national educational system in India started during the British Raj. The University Grants Committee was formed in 1945 to oversee the functioning of the three central universities of the time – Aligarh, Delhi and Banaras. Its responsibility was extended in 1947 to cover all Indian universities.
  • The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an organisation that assesses and accredits higher education Institutions (HEIs) in India.
  • It is an autonomous body funded by the University Grants Commission and headquartered in Bangalore.

UGC Mandate

The UGC has the unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities: that of providing funds and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education. The UGC’s mandate includes:

  • Promoting and coordinating university education.
  • Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities.
  • Framing regulations on minimum standards of education.
  • Monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges.
  • Serving as a vital link between the Union and State governments and institutions of higher learning.
  • Advising the Central and State governments on the measures necessary for the improvement of university education.

STRIDE – Scheme for Trans-Disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy

STRIDE is an initiative that supports research projects that are nationally important, socially relevant and local need-based as well as significant on a global scale.

Components of STRIDE
Component 1 Component 2 Component 3

Provisions for building research capacity in various orders by nurturing, mentoring and supporting young talents to innovate real-life solutions for regional, local, national and global problems.

  • Grant available is up to Rs. 1 crore.
Provisions for enhancing problem-solving skills through social innovation. Improving the well-being of people through action research that also adds to India’s developing economy.

  • Grant up to Rs. 50 lakh to 1 crore is available for projects under this component.
Funding high impact research projects in the identified thrust areas in humanities and human sciences through a national network of eminent scientists from leading institutions

Other features of STRIDE are:

  • It is a guide to Student Induction Programme which is prepared by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • This program is meant for new students to feel comfortable in the new environment, and the induction programmes are held before classes commence.
  • The objectives of the Scheme are: 
    • Helping new students adjust and making them feel comfortable in the new environment.
    • Inculcating the ethos and culture of the particular institution.
    • Helping them bond with fellow students and faculty members.
    • Providing them with an exposure to a sense of larger purpose and self-exploration.

 Deeksharambh- A Guide to Student Induction Programme

In July 2019, Ministry of Human Resource & Development brought a Deeksharambh which is a guide for students who are recently admitted into institutions. The objectives of Deeksharambh are:

  1. Provide comfort to new students in the new environment
  2. To inculcate in students the ethos and culture of the UGC institution,
  3. To assist them with building bonds with other UGC students and faculty members,
  4. To expose them to a sense of larger purpose and self-exploration
  5. To empower the aspirant learners to face the Competitive world with confidence
  6. To open new horizons of life leading to character building based on Universal Human Values such as Truth, Righteous Conduct, Love, Non-violence, Peace and assist in developing self-awareness, compassion and oneness.

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