University Grants Commission (India)

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Coordinates: 28°37′45″N 77°14′23″E / 28.62917°N 77.23972°E / 28.62917; 77.23972

University Grants Commission
UGC India Logo.png
Abbreviation UGC
Motto Gyan-Vigyan Vimuktaye (Knowledge Liberates)
Formation December 28, 1953 (1953-12-28)
Headquarters New Delhi
Chairman Prof. Ved Prakash
Affiliations Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is a statutory organisation set up by the Union government in 1956, to coordinate, determine, and maintain university education standards. It provides recognition to Indian universities and disburses funds to such recognized universities and colleges.

UGC headquartered in New Delhi also has six regional centres in Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore.[1]

Logo revisited[edit]

During the University Grants Commission (UGC) Golden Jubilee Year on 28 December 2002, then Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, spoke off revisiting the UGC logo. Vajpayee spoke of the need to take a fresh look at the UGC Act, 1956, in the light of new challenges the education sector would face in the twenty-first century. He also suggested that the Commission could consider changing its name to the University Education Development Commission. Traditionally, UGC was entrusted with the task of ", formulation and maintenance of the standards of university education."


From ancient Bharat to modern India, education has always occupied a prominent place in Indian history. In ancient times, Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramsila universities attractd students from all over the country and even far off countries—Korea, China, Burma (Myanmar), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Tibet and Nepal. Today, India has the third largest structured higher education systems in the world.

The present higher education system dates to Mountstuart Elphinstone's minutes of 1823, which stressed the need establish schools to teach English and European sciences. Later, Lord Macaulay, in his Minutes of 1835, advocated "...efforts to make natives of the country thoroughly good English scholars." Sir Charles Wood's Dispatch of 1854, the Magna Carta of English Education in India, recommended creating a properly articulated scheme of education from the primary school to the university. It sought to encourage indigenous education and planned the formulation of a coherent policy of education.

Subsequently, in 1857, the government set up universities at Calcutta, Bombay (Mumbai), and Madras (Chennai), followed by the University of Allahabad in 1887. The Inter-University Board (later known as the Association of Indian Universities) was established in 1925 to promote university activities, by sharing information and cooperation in the field of education, culture, sports and allied areas. However, the first attempt to formulate a national system of education in India came In 1944, with the Report of the Central Advisory Board of Education on Post War Educational Development in India, also known as "Sargeant Report". It recommended the formation of a University Grants Committee to oversee University Education needs.

In August 2014, the University Grants Commission announced that they would name a host of their centres after notable social figures. UGC already had centres named Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. This time they decided to name centres after figures and thinkers like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Swami Vivekananda, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.[2]


The UGC is the only grant-giving agency in the country vested with two responsibilities: providing funds and coordinating, determining and maintaining 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 improvement of university education.

Formation of UGC[edit]

In 1945, a committee formed to oversee the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras, and Delhi. In 1947, the Committee assumed the responsibility of dealing with all then-existing Universities.

Soon after Independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of Dr. S Radhakrishnan " report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions that might be desirable to suit the present and future needs and aspirations of the country." It recommended reconstituting the University Grants Committee on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom, with a full-time Chairman and other members appointed from amongst educationists of repute.

In 1952, the Union Government decided that all cases pertaining to the allocation of grants-in-aid from public funds to the Central Universities and other Universities and Institutions of higher learning might be referred to the University Grants Commission. Consequently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was formally inaugurated by late Shri Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Minister of Education, Natural Resources and Scientific Research on 28 December 1953.

The UGC, however, was formally established only in November 1956, as a statutory body of the Government of India through an Act of Parliament for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India. In order to ensure effective region-wise coverage throughout the country, the UGC has decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bangalore. The head office of the UGC is located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi, with two additional centers operating from 35, Feroze Shah Road and the South Campus of University of Delhi as well.

Professional councils[edit]

UGC, along with CSIR currently conducts NET for appointments of teachers in colleges and universities.[3] It has made NET qualification mandatory for teaching at Graduation level and at Post Graduation level since July 2009. However, those with Ph.D are given five percent relaxation.

Accreditation for higher learning over Universities under the aegis of University Grants Commission is overseen by following sixteen autonomous statutory institutions :[4][5]


In 2009, the Union Minister of Education revealed an Indian government plan to close down UGC and the related body All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in favour of a higher regulatory body with more sweeping powers.[6] This goal, proposed by the Higher Education and Research (HE&R) Bill, 2011, intends to replace the UGC with a "National Commission for Higher Education & Research (NCHER) ... for determination, coordination, maintenance and continued enhancement of standards of higher education and research."[7] The bill proposes absorbing the UGC and other academic agencies into this new organization. Those agencies involved in medicine and law would be exempt from this merger "to set minimum standards for medical and legal education leading to professional practice".[8] The bill has received opposition from the local governments of the Indian states of Bihar, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but has received general support.[7]

UGC-DU controversy[edit]

In 2013, the vice-chancellor of Delhi University announced a four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) to better target courses to industrial requirements, and make the UG course equivalent to international UG courses (as opposed to the 10+2+3 structure followed before). Despite widespread student protests, the programme was not scrapped. In June 2014, during the new admission process, UGC cracked down on Delhi University, and all the affiliated colleges to scrap the FYUP and revert to the old system. Strong opinions exist on both sides, with critics of UGC arguing that DU has autonomy to regulate the duration of its courses as per the DU act, 1922. Some pointed out that the FYUP passed the academic council and the executive council of the university. Supporters of UGC hailed the decision saying universities must comply with UGC regulations [1].


  1. ^ University Grants Commission Govt. of India website.
  2. ^ "Beyond Nehru-Gandhis: UGC to name research centres after ‘unsung’ heroes like S Radhakrishnan and others". The Economic Times. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "CSIR UGC 2013". 
  4. ^ "Higher education in India". Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  5. ^ a b "Professional Councils". 'University Grants Commission' (UGC) website. 
  6. ^ "UGC, AICTE to be scrapped: Sibal". Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Reporter, BS (March 6, 2013). "States oppose national panel for higher education and research". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  8. ^ TNN (Oct 5, 2013). "Major push to change the face of higher education". Times of India. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 

External links[edit]