The UGC has informed that it has launched the following schemes for making higher education relevant to the needs of the society and industry, namely: Career Oriented Courses (COC), Community Colleges (CC), introduction of degrees in vocational subjects and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Knowledge Acquisition and Upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood (KAUSHAL) centres in line with National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). The UGC, through collaboration with National Mission on Education thought ICT (NMEICT), has undertaken e-content development of post graduate programmes called e-PG Pathashala.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) undertakes maintenance of standards in teaching and research and quality assurance in Universities, Deemed to be Universities and Colleges through the following mechanisms, namely: framing regulations and schemes and; disbursing grants to the eligible institutions. The UGC has notified several regulations with the objective of sustenance and improvement in the quality of higher education and for undertaking academic reforms. The regulations are available at http://www.ugc.ac.in/page/UGC-Regulations.aspx. In order to encourage research and development in the country, UGC has laid out schemes, awards, fellowships, chairs and programmes under which financial assistance is provided to institutions of higher education as well as faculty members working therein to undertake quality research covering areas of knowledge across disciplines including revival & promotion of indigenous languages. These schemes are at http://www.ugc.ac.in/page/XII-Plan-Guidelines.aspx .
The Central Government has launched several initiatives viz. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Impacting Research, Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Uchchtar Avishkar Yojna (UAY), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in the field of education for the qualitative development of education in the country. Under the NIRF, Educational Institutions will be ranked by an independent ranking Agency for which objective criteria has been developed. They shall be ranked separately in fields such as Engineering, Management, Pharma, Architecture etc. Under the IMPRINT initiative, the Government has taken the initiative to address major engineering challenges through the collaborative efforts of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Under this, a roadmap is finalised to pursue engineering challenges in ten technology domains that have large social impact. The objectives of UAY scheme are to promote innovation in IITs addressing issues of manufacturing industries; to spur innovative mindset; to co-ordinate action between academia & industry and to strengthen labs & research facilities. GIAN scheme is for facilitating partnership between Higher Educational Institutions of the country and other countries. The scheme is aimed at tapping international talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs.
The Central Government is also implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for strategic funding and reforms in the State Higher Education sector.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.