This article throws light upon the top six agencies formulated for the improvement of higher education in India. The agencies are: 1. University Grants Commission (UGC) 2. Association of Indian Universities (AIU) 3. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) 4. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) 5. Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) 6. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Agencies for Improvement of Higher Education:
- University Grants Commission (UGC)
- Association of Indian Universities (AIU)
- All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR)
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 1.
University Grants Commission (UGC):
The University Grants Commission (UGC) was set up by the Government of India under an Act (3 of 1956) of parliament in 1956 at New Delhi.
Nine members including the chairman and appointed by the Government of India out of these not more than there are form among the vice chancellors of universities, two are from officers of government of India and the remaining four are from among the educationists of repute with high academic distinction.
Now in addition to a full time chairman there is a full time Vice-Chairman and the total number of the member of the commission is increased as 12. A member is to hold office for a period of six years.
The UGC performs the following important functions like:
i. It promotes and coordinates university education.
ii. It determines and maintains standard of teaching.
iii. It determines and maintains standard of examination
iv. It determines and maintains standard of research in university.
The reconstituted U.G.C as the statutory body is discharging its functions very effectively and has undertaken in its purview a wide range of activities under section-12 of parliament Act-3.
There activities are as follows:
a. The U.G.C makes an effort to improve the quality and standard of education.
b. It gives full grants to the central universities and also developmental grants to various state universities.
c. It provides financial assistance for the development of the existing post graduate departments and opening departments in various universities and colleges.
d. It determines the pay scale of college and university teachers.
e. It sanctions grants for the construction off staff quarters and hostels for the students.
f. It provides teacher fellowships for research studies among college and University teachers.
g. It implements teacher-exchange programmes through seminars, workshops etc.
h. It renders assistance to the teachers to visit foreign countries for research and other innovative activities.
i. It publishes reports, books and journals for developing teaching standard of teachers in higher education.
j. It sanctions grants for organization of seminars and research at the National level, state universities and colleges.
k. It sanctions grants for conducting minor and major research projects.
l. It has also established ‘centers of Advanced Study’ in a number of universities for the improvement of standards is education.
m. It examines the financial requirements of every university of India.
Besides the above functions the development programmes are normally examined and discussed by the visiting committee with the universities during each plan period or by special adhoc committee appointed for the purpose.
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 2.
Association of Indian Universities (AIU):
The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) established in 1925 as the inter-universities Board, was the apex body for university-level institutions in India. It was originated in our country in accordance with the recommendations of Sadler commission in the year 1917 for maintaining proper coordination among the universities.
In 1973, it was renamed as the “Association of Indian Universities” (AIU). The Association endeavors the following activities or functions for the qualitative improvement of higher education which are discussed hereunder.
i. It coordinates the activities of the member institutions.
ii. It helps to formulate common programmes and policies in the field of higher education.
iii. It serves as a bureau of information and to facilitate coordination, communication amongst universities.
iv. It acts as a liaison between the universities and the government.
v. It promotes sports, culture and youth activities.
vi. It assesses the status of degrees or diplomas in India and abroad.
vii. It undertakes publication of material related to higher education.
viii. It publishes the weekly journal “University News” which carries a variety of articles covering different aspects of higher education. .
ix. It helps universities to obtain their autonomous character.
x. It undertakes and facilitates conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures and research on higher education.
xi. It grants affiliation to the universities established through the acts of state and central government.
The membership of the AIU includes traditional Universities, open universities, agricultural universities, institutions of national importance and deemed to be universities. It is an important association which helps in qualitative improvement of higher education.
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 3.
All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE):
The All India council of Technical Education (AICTE) was set up in 1957 at New Delhi in order to provide advice on the improvement of technical education. It was constituted by the representatives of Lok-sabha, different state governments, and other technical institutions. It has also a general body which has 60 members. The council undertakes planning, implementation, quality maintenance and execution of higher technical education. The council has seven technical boards.
Functions of AICTE:
Some of the major functions of AICTE are as follows:
i. The AICTE brings progress to technical education in the country.
ii. It makes planning and coordination of engineering management, pharmaceutical education and architecture educations.
iii. It makes assessment of quality control in technical education.
iv. It advices to government to establish technical education institutions.
v. It provides recognition to technical institutes in the country.
vi. It gives financial aid to develop technical education.
vii. It organizes annual meeting in every year.
viii. It organizes conferences and discussions on different problems of technical education and determines new yardsticks for technical institutions.
ix. It conducts different training programmes on various branches of technical education.
Different branches of AICTE are as follows:
(a) Engineering and chemical Technology
(b) Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology
(c) Textile Technology
(d) Architecture and Regional Planning
(e) Applied Arts
(f) Commerce and Business Administration
All those branches prepare curriculum and examination pattern for technical education in higher level and provide certificates to the successful candidates. The council also provides financial assistance to those meritorious students for higher studies in foreign countries. For the spread for technical education in each states a state Board of Technical Education has been opened under AICTE. Different Polytechnic institutes have been opened in the state for providing technical education in a progressive manner.
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 4.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
The council of scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is an organization of the central Government. This council was formed by the approval of central Legislative Assembly in the year 1942. It is an autonomous organization. The council helps to provide opportunities for conducting research in the field of science and industry.
The main aims functions of the council are:
Functions of CSIR:
(i) To provide relevant data in field of science and industry after conducting research.
(ii) To sponsor research programmes and projects in the field of science and industry.
(iii) To sanction grants to institutions and interested persons for research in science and industry.
(iv) To give financial support to different universities engaged in research activities.
(v) To review the progress of scientific and industrial research and give advice in this regard.
(vi) To establish new industrial organization and bring its development.
(vii) To provide scholarships and fellowships fore research in the field of science and industry.
(viii) To utilize the research outcomes in the field of industrial growth.
(ix) To organize, sponsor and finance seminars, workshops, conference etc.
(x) To collect and disseminate information about the scientific and industrial research findings.
(xi) To undertake publication and to assist publication of science related journals, scientific news and science magazines.
Besides the above functions, the council has also a general executive body. The prime minister acts as the president of this executive body and the union minister for science and Technology acts as the vice president. It has also an advisory board and the union Minister for the Department of science and Technology acts as the chairman of this Advisory Body.
Now there are forty laboratories working in different states under CSIR. The council is extending its research activities and taking steps in the field of preparation of medicines, chemicals, electronics instruments. Mineral water, food processing etc. in order to provide a better and polluted free environment for the human beings.
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 5.
Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR):
The Indian council of social science Research (ICSSR) was established by the Government of India in August 1969. It is an autonomous organization which provides opportunities for conducting research is social science. Its head office is situated at New Delhi.
The ICSSR has a governing council that consists of 26 members including the chairman and the member secretary among which the chairman and other 18 social scientists are nominated by the Government of India. The tenure of the chairman, member secretary and other nominees is generally of 3 years. The council plays an important role for qualitative improvement of higher education on behalf of the Government of India.
Functions of ICSSR:
The following are some of the functions of ICSSR:
(i) It promotes social science research.
(ii) It coordinates social science research programmes and provides grants to institutions and individuals for research in social science.
(iii) It provides knowledge for research activities.
(iv) It provides scholarships and fellowships for research in social science.
(v) It indicates areas in which social science research is to be promoted and selects new areas of research problems.
(vi) It gives financial supports to institutions, associations and journals engaged in social science research.
(vii) It organizes training in research methodology and to provides guidelines for research.
(viii) It develops and supports centers for documentation services and supply of data.
(ix) The ICSSR organizes and finances seminars, workshops and meetings or conferences.
(x) It provides grants for minor and major research projects in the field for social sciences.
(xi) It undertakes publication of journals and books in social science.
(xii) It utilizes research findings in the progress of the nation.
(xiii) It collects Ph. D thesis and publications in social sciences.
Besides the above functions, the governments of India on all matters pertaining to social science research is assisted and advised by the ICSSR. In order to promote social science research and its utilization, the government takes measures or steps from time to time. At present the council is providing assistance to 27 Research Institutes and 6 regional centers in different regions of India.
It also provides maintenance and development grants to these research institutes. Another important activity of the council is the training of young social scientists by the research institutes through M. Phil and PH D. programmes, workshops and seminars. For the smooth running of various activities the council has different committees like Research project committee.
Research survey committee, Publication committee, committee on documentation services, committee on research of SC/ST etc. Lastly, the council plays a significant role in the field of social science research for bringing qualitative improvement in higher education.
Improvement of Higher Education: Agency # 6.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
The Indian council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body situated at New Delhi, responsible for the organization and management of research in the field of agriculture. The minister for Agriculture is the president of the ICAR.
The Governing Body is the chief executive and decision making authority of the ICAR which is headed by the Director General. It is assisted by the standing Finance committee, Accreditation Board and Regional committee. It functions as the principal advisor to the Government of India in all matters concerning research and education in agriculture and other allied fields.
Functions of ICAR:
The following are the functions of ICAR:
i. To promote and coordinate research in the field of agriculture, agro-forestry and fisheries.
ii. To promote application of research findings in agriculture and other allied sciences.
iii. To provide general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, agro-forestry through its publications and information system
iv. To promote application of new technology in the field of agriculture.
v. To undertake and promote consultancy services in the field of education, research, training in agriculture, fishery, agro-forestry and other allied sciences.
vi. To disseminate new ideas and information relating to agriculture, agro-forestry etc.,
vii. To look into the problems relating to rural development concerning agriculture by keeping close liaison with ICSSR, CSIR, State Agricultural Universities etc.
Due to the above functions the ICAR becomes an apex scientific organization under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education of our country.