Human Resource Development

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to allow the central government to set up Universities for Research and Innovation through notifications. These universities shall be deemed to be institutions of national importance. 
  • The central government may declare any existing public funded university to be a university for research and innovation after an expert committee (formed by the central government) has assessed it.
  • A new university may be established by a promoter if he meets certain conditions.  If the promoter is an organisation, it has to be a non-profit company, a society or a trust with proven expertise in innovation.  If it is an Indian university, it has to be established for at least 25 years.  If it is a foreign university, it has to be established for at least 50 years.
  • The proposal for setting up the university has to be approved by the central government within six months as far as practicable.
  • Each university shall constitute a committee to review the performance of the university within 15 years of it being set up. Subsequent reviews shall be every 10 years.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Bill creates a new category of universities. Some committees recommended that higher autonomy be given to existing universities rather than creating a new category of universities.
  • There are two different requirements for foreign universities under this Bill and the Foreign Universities Bill, 2010 pending in Parliament.  The 2010 Bill has higher compliance requirements for foreign universities.  
  • The Bill requires public funded universities to be audited by the CAG on parameters decided by the central government in concurrence of the CAG.  This limits the power of the CAG to perform audits.
  • The norms governing public funded intellectual property differ from that of the Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008 pending in Parliament.  
  • The Standing Committee made recommendations related to the mechanism of setting up universities, penalties and grievance redressal mechanism.

Read the complete analysis here