Navaratna Universities to be selected from among the exisiting universities in India

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

A committee of vice-chancellors has outlined a set of criteria for selecting institutions with the potential for excellence as Navaratna Universities, which will then be given more autonomy and resources.

“The Navaratna Universities would be India’s answer to the Ivy League of the US. These universities will be distinguished ones and will set an example for other institutions in the country,” Seyed Hasnain, the vice-chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, told The Telegraph.

… The suggested criteria include research output, patents, publications, sponsored projects, research grants received, ranking by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council and international agencies, funds, admission procedure, quality of faculty, financial support to students, and the ability to attract foreign students.

The government has asked the committee to submit a final report within two months.

All central and state universities can vie for a place in the Navaratna category, Hasnain said, adding that the group need not necessarily consist of nine institutions.

The universities selected will be provided additional financial support and given the right to hire teachers of their choice, appoint faculty by invitation, set up campuses abroad, hold faculty fairs in foreign countries, engage with institutions of repute for research and generate more resources from sponsored projects.

“The idea is that while setting up more institutions with the aim of achieving international levels, the existing institutions should not be left behind. It is a very good move by the government because the Navaratna institutions will be role models for others,” said Deepak Pental, vice-chancellor of Delhi University.

… Germany has categorised nine universities as Universities of Excellence, China has a similar group of 11 institutions and Australia has its Group-8, made up by the country’s top eight universities.

“This move will create a spirit of competition among institutions to excel. In the process, the quality of education and the standards of institutions will improve,” said Abdul Wahid, vice-chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir.

This is a great idea. The measures should be transparent so that the universities that are left out of it can aim to achieve those measures for future inclusion in that group. I hope some universities from Odisha would make into that list, but even if that does not happen, I think having those measures will enable the Odisha universities to argue for more funding and improving themselves.

See http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/3214 for a ranking of Indian universities based on publication counts. That ranking should give an idea of which universities stand a good chance of achieving Navaratna status.

For the future, there should be a way for additional universities to get Navaratna status. That will encourage the universities that do not get the status in the first round to improve themselves. It will also encourage consolidation and creation of more wholesome universities that have engineering colleges and medical colleges as their components.

5 comments October 5th, 2010


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