" A new culture of research should emphasize that grants are linked to innovation outcomes. It would be relevant in this connection to establish incubation centres in the universities for trying innovations and through them establish their linkage with the industry. Liberal research support needs to be provided for Indian scholars who undergo experiences in high-end research laboratories within the country and abroad, he said."
Chandigarh, Aug 14 - University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Ved Prakash said Thursday major rethinking was required to make institutions of higher education compete at the international level.

Addressing universities across the country from Panjab University (PU) campus here, the UGC chairman said: While there is a common belief in improving the quality, the efforts and resources are not in commensuration. The Government of India is in the process of preparing a legislation to capture the more recent trends in accreditation and provide a legislative framework to achieve this.

Admitting that the prevalent system in higher education was not enough to help in the upgradation of institutions, Ved Prakash said: In a massive system like ours, where we have about 700 universities and about 38,000 colleges, there is a need to increase the capacity of the existing organisations.

The UGC has made assessment and accreditation mandatory since 2013. The present capacity of NAAC is so very inadequate that of the total number of institutions of higher learning, the NAAC has accredited only 375 universities and 9,946 colleges.

Our problem is that we have been confined to an approach which requires a major rethinking in the context of changing expectations of benchmarking institutions of higher education, Prakash said.

He pointed out that the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and Accreditation Board (AB) were into institutional accreditation and program accreditation but they had limited resources to carry out the work.

Of course, we have an obligation to improve the global ranking of our universities and for which we need to set up a committee that should study the features of those universities which are continuously figuring in the global ranking and suggest ways and means to improve the ranking of our universities, he said.

The UGC chairman's address on the topic Impetus to Research: Strategic Planning and Work-Plan was transmitted nationwide through internet. The programme was organised as part of commemoration of completion of 60 years of the UGC.

Research is undoubtedly fundamental to the existence of a university, but what is important is to engage in research which does not only provide authentication to the existing data patterns and models but also lead to newer ideas which have a potential for changing the character and outcomes of knowledge, he said, adding that funding for research needed to be enhanced and research activities need to be expanded significantly.

A new culture of research should emphasize that grants are linked to innovation outcomes. It would be relevant in this connection to establish incubation centres in the universities for trying innovations and through them establish their linkage with the industry. Liberal research support needs to be provided for Indian scholars who undergo experiences in high-end research laboratories within the country and abroad, he said.

PU is the highest ranked Indian institution in the Times Higher Education (THE) in its international ranking of universities worldwide.


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