The University Grants Commission (UGC) has extended the Universities with Potential for Excellence (UPE) tag for University of Rajasthan (RU) till March 2019, vice-chancellor RK Kothari said.
The tag will help the university, facing financial crunch, in getting grants from the commission.
RU, the state’s oldest and largest university, was selected by the UGC for the UPE scheme in the 12th plan period (2012-15). As of now, there are 15 universities in the country with the UPE tag. They include Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; and University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.
The UPE scheme was initiated by UGC during its ninth plan period to provide substantial support to selected universities to help bring them at par with the world-class universities. Promoting credit-based modular system, academic programmes relevant to socio-economic needs of nation, and examination reforms were some of the other objectives of the scheme.
The extension of UPE tag will facilitate the release of Rs 25 crore grant to the university. “Of the total promised grant of Rs 50 crore, we have already got half. We did not get the remaining Rs 25 crore as the review could not take place for some reasons. The UGC team will visit us this month end and most likely approve the remaining grant,” said prof AK Nagawat, convener of the university’s coordination committee for UPE.
The upper limit for financial assistance for a university under the scheme is Rs 50 crore out of which 30% is to be spent on the focus area identified by the university earlier. The focus area in case of RU is ‘Materials and Converging Sciences: Nano Particles, nano-composites and multilayers’. The remaining amount of the total grant has to be spent on holistic development of the university.
From the initial grant, RU has already spent Rs 8 crore on the focus area and another Rs 9 crore for the construction of library building, Nagawat said. About Rs 1-2 crore of grant will be used in introducing e-governance in the university.