Promoting AYUSH Education

The Central Government has approved setting up of (i) All India Institute Ayurveda at SaritaVihar, New Delhi to conduct Post-graduate and Ph.D. courses in Ayurveda and (ii) North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy at Shillong in Meghalaya to conduct Under-graduate, Post-graduate, Doctoral and Post-doctoral courses both in Ayurveda and Homoeopathy.

Further, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry, there is a component of Development of AYUSH Educational Institutions under the National AYUSH Mission (NAM) where, there is a provision of grant in aid upto the maximum of Rs. 10.50 crore for setting up of new AYUSH Educational Institutions/Colleges in the states where such Institution does not exists in Government Sector. The grant-in-aid provided by the Government of India is supplementary to the State contribution to complete the project.

Furthermore, there is a provision of assistance of Rs. 3 crore for Under-graduate (UG) Institutions and Rs. 4 crore for Post-graduate (PG) Institutions of AYUSH for upgradation/infrastructural development.

The Central Government has taken steps for the improve the quality of AYUSH educational institutions already in existenceby approving the regulations for Ayurveda, Unani Siddha and Homoeopathy colleges notified by the CCIM and CCH as per details given below:

i. The Indian Medicine Central Council (Permission to Existing Medical Colleges) Regulations, 2006.

ii. Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standard Requirement of Ayurveda Colleges and attached Hospitals) Regulations, 2012 with Amendment Regulations, 2013.

iii.Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standard Requirements of Unani Colleges and attached Hospitals) Regulations, 2013.

iv. Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standard Requirements of Siddha Colleges and attached Hospitals) Regulations, 2013.

v. Homoeopathy Central Council (Minimum Standards Requirement of Homoeopathic Colleges and attached Hospitals) Regulations, 2013.

vi. Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine (Amendment) Regulations, 2012 with further amendment in 2013 for Ayurveda undergraduate course.

vii. Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine) Amendment Regulations, 2013 for Unani undergraduate course.

viii. Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine) Amendment Regulations, 2013 for Siddha undergraduate course.

ix. Homoeopathy (Degree Course) Regulations, 1983 with amendments in 2003 and 2005.

x. Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2012.

xi. Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Unani Education) Regulations, 2007.

xii. Homoeopathy (Post Graduate Degree Course) M.D.(Hom.) Regulations, 1989 with amendments in 1993 and 2012.

xiii. Indian Medicine Central Council (Post-Graduate Diploma Course) Regulations, 2010 with amendment in 2013 for Ayurveda.

xiv. Indian Medicine Central Council (Post-Graduate Diploma Course in Unani Medicine) Regulations, 2015.

xv. Indian Medicine Central Council (Post-Graduate Diploma Course in Siddha) Regulations, 2015.

Further, the assistance given by the Government of India under the component of Development of AYUSH Institutions of NAM is facilitating improvement in infrastructure in AYUSH Colleges and attached Hospital and thereby improving quality of existing educational Institutions.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. 

Ranking Framework released for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions

AICTE, under the aegis of MHRD has released the Parameters and Metrics for Ranking for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions as part of the National Institutional Ranking Framework.

Earlier, MHRD vide Notification dated 09.10.2014, MHRD had constituted a Committee to suggest a National Framework for performance measurement and ranking of Institutions and Programmes conducted by the Institutions. The Committee was also asked to suggest organizational structure, institutional mechanism and processes for implementation along with time-lines of the National Ranking Framework.

The Committee was of the view that a single ranking framework for complex and diverse education scenario of institutions, as exist in India would be counter productive and meaningless. Hence it decided to follow apple-to-apple approach and proceeded to design a framework in which institutions belonging to different sectoral fields, such as Engineering, Management, etc. should be compared separately in their own respective peer groups. Comprehensive universities, which encompass a large number of academic programs including Arts, Humanities, Sciences etc., should similarly form a separate peer group for comparison. Resultantly, it decided to release Ranking Framework, Parameters and Metrics separately for each category of Institutions.

MHRD then formally, on 29.09.2015 launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework and also released the Parameters and Metrics for Engineering and Management Institutions.

Recently, AICTE, the regulator for Architecture and Pharmacy Education in India has released Parameters and Metrics for Ranking for Pharmacy and Architecture Institutions. The Framework provides that for the purpose of Ranking the Institutions will be divided two categories, first being engaged in Research and Teaching and second being engaged primarily in Teaching.

The Institutions will be assessed and ranked under five broad headings: (1) Teaching, Learning and Resources; (2) Research, Consulting and Collaborative Performance; (3) Graduation Outcomes; (4) Outreach and Inclusivity and (5) Perception.

MHRD has also rolled out participation in Ranking Framework for the Institutions, which are accredited/affiliated to the AICTE/UGC and has also made available a web-based platform the same. The process of submission and participation in the framework has begun from 2nd November 2015.

EduLegaL View:

I have always said that there exists body for assessment and accreditation in this country, like NAAC and NBA and hence MHRD should have attempted to integrate these processes instead of creating separate framework.

A closer look at the term of reference of the Committee, which designed this Framework, also includes, “Suggest linkages with NAAC and NBA, if any.”, as one of the terms of reference. I wonder what has happened to this term of reference.

The Administrators must understand that burdening educational institutions with continued and different assessment is not going to add to their quality, but will reduce their quality.

So where are we going? What are we trying to achieve?


Varsities in State Way Behind in Controlling Plagiarism

Published: 28th November 2014 06:06 AM

KOCHI: Even as top officials of universities in the country are being scrutinised for alleged academic theft and plagiarism, universities in the state have taken little or no interest in curbing the unethical practice of cut and paste.

In order to facilitate open access to theses and dissertations to the academic community globally, the UGC Notification (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil / PhD Degree, Regulation, 2009) had mandated submission of electronic version of these documents by researchers across universities.

The INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network) centre under the University Grants Commission, responsible for maintaining the digital repository of theses and dissertations, also provides free anti-plagiarism software to universities eligible for grants from the University Grants Commission. But the response to this offer has not been very positive.

Even though the University Grants Commission regulations state that it is the responsibility of research scholar, research supervisor (guide) and universities to check plagiarised content by using standard anti-plagiarism software, universities continue to rely on the age-old method of manually checking and approving thesis.

“We are not aware of any such system and have not received any message from University Grants Commission on it. However, we are willing to install such a software as it is the need of the hour. We will discuss about it at the earliest” said Abdul Khader, Vice-Chancellor, Kannur University.

Most university authorities have seconded him. The Sanskrit university which availed itself of the software from UGC in June this year has not put it to use.

“We have submitted the e-thesis to INFLIBNET but we have not used the software as part of the process to award PhDs. Only when a complaint is raised do we use the software to detect plagiarism,” said A Vijayakumar, deputy librarian, Sanskrit University. Same is the case with a few other universities which has not put to use the advantages of the software.

The soft copy of the thesis has to be uploaded to the anti-plagiarism software to detect the percentage of plagiarism in it. An official in the examination wing is usually responsible for conducting the check. If the plagiarism percentage is 25 per cent or more, the PhD candidate would be asked to revise it. However, it needs to be monitored by an expert, since the software could count the use of certain technical words as repetitions or plagiarised.

Kerala University Pro-Vice-Chancellor N Veeramanikandan’s statement that the pages alleged to be plagiarised were mentioned in citations and references, points out another angle – the difficulty in compartmentalising what exactly constitutes and leads to plagiarism. While on one side it is the weak norms governing the awarding of PhD, it is the lack of awareness on the other side, experts said.

“Thesis theft or plagiarism is a grave offence – theft of intellectual property. It is not only unethical but also illegal and not many are aware of it, especially of what constitutes intentional and unintentional plagiarism. Also, there is no strict compartmentalization of how much of plagiarism is acceptable,” said Ravi Bhardwaj, a lawyer.

“Plagiarism goes unnoticed or ignored in many cases. Sometimes, PhDs are awarded on the basis of a mutual understanding. In most cases, allegations of plagiarism pop up and reaches the court only as a result of personal vengeance” Ravi Bhardwaj said.

UGC appoints Committee to assess C Category Deemed Universities

In furtherance of the directives of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 21st January 2014 in Writ Petition No: 142 of 2006 [Viplav Sharma v/s Union of India], UGC has decided to constitute a 4 member Committee to undertake assessment of the 41 Category ‘C’ Institutions Deemed to be Universities.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India while hearing the petitions challenging the findings of Tandon Committee in its Order dated 21st January 2014 had directed UGC to examine all the reports concerning Deemed Universities including Report of Tandon Committee, Report of the Officers of MHRD and so also of UGC. It also directed UGC to grant hearing to the affected Deemed Universities and thereafter decide on the status of C Category Deemed Universities within 8 weeks from the date of the Order.

UGC had later sent questionnaires to the C Category Deemed Universities and sought report from all the concerned Universities. UGC also approached Supreme Court to invoke its powers under Regulation 16 and 17 of the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2010 and sought extension of time as laid down in Order dated 21st January 2014. The Apex Court in its Order dated 5th May 2014 granted UGC time till 31st July to submit report in respect of C Category Deemed Universities.

UGC while discussing this issue on 13th June 2014 decided to constitute a Committee comprising of 1. Prof. H. Devaraj, Vice-Chairman, UGC … Chairman 2] Prof. Sanjay Dhande, Member, UGC … Member 3] Prof. V.S. Chauhan Member, UGC … Member and 4] Mrs. Amita Sharma, Additional Secretary … Member (as nominee of the MHRD) to undertake assessment of the 41 Category ‘C’ Institutions Deemed to be Universities.

All the 41 C Category Deemed to be Universities shall appear before the Committee to make a video presentation of their institution and to respond to any queries. The Commission will assess the presentation of each Deemed to be University and arrive at reasoned conclusion.

EduLegaL View:

Is UGC doing the same mistake, as was done by Tandon Committee? The main allegation against Tandon Committee was that it was an ARM CHAIR REPORT prepared on basis of Power Point Presentation and Speech Skills and not inspection / visit to the Campus of the Universities. UGC had approached Supreme Court seeking extension of time with the plea to inspect the Deemed Universities. Where is that inspection? UGC should inspect the Campuses and then submit a Report. A Report prepared on basis of Power Point Presentation and Speech Skills generally cannot reflect the true position. 

UGC relaxes criteria to appoint Chancellor for Certain Deemed Universities


UGC has relaxed the provisions contained in Clause 5.2 of the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2010 relating to appointment of Chancellor  to allow President / Trustee/ promoter of the sponsoring Society/Trust/Company or  his/her close relative as its Chancellor.

Earlier, in the year 2010, UGC had notified UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2010. In the said Regulations, vide Clause 5, it had provided for Governance System of the Deemed University. Clause 5.2 of the Regulations, prescribed that Chancellor of the University apart from being an eminent educationist shall be person other than President of the Sponsoring Society or his / her close relatives, thereby separating the Sponsoring Body and Deemed University.

UGC, in its meeting held on 13th June 2014 while considering suggestion received from MHRD to amend UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010, has relaxed the provisions contained in Clause 5.2 of the Regulations.

UGC has now resolved that Institutions Deemed to be Universities, which have been conferred that status for 25 years or more, and have a valid NAAC  Grade A accreditation and have also been given ‘A’ Grade by the Tandon Committee may be permitted relaxation to the provisions of clause 5.2 of the UGC Institutions Deemed to be University Regulations, 2010 to the extent that the sponsoring society/trust/company of such an Institution can also appoint the President/Trustee/promoter of the sponsoring Society/Trust/Company or his/her close relative as its Chancellor provided that such a person is an eminent educationist or a distinguished public figure. It has accordingly sought to amend the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010.

EduLegaL View:

While UGC is amending the Regulations to correct the errors done by it earlier, it cannot also loose sight of the fact that the UGC Deemed Universities Regulations, 2010 has been declared unconstitutional and invalid by Hon’ble Karnataka High Court, while deciding bunch of Petitions filed by several Deemed Universities. Similarly there is STATUS QUO as respect the said Regulations in favour of several Deemed Universities by order of Hon’ble Madras High Court.

It should reconsider several other provisions which encroach upon the fundamental right of Deemed Universities to establish and administer educational institutions, which grant them right to constitute governing body, admit students, lay down reasonable fee structure, appoint employees, etc.

On instruction of MHRD, it has again tried to re-enforce the TANDON COMMITTEE, which has been virtually put to naught by Hon’ble Apex Court

However, it is certainly a good start.

High Court quashes the Rajasthan Pre-Medical Test (RPMT) 2014

Rajasthan High Court has set aside the Rajasthan Pre-Medical Test (RPMT) 2014 and directed the state government to conduct the examination again. A petition was filed by some students challenging the Medical Test alleging discrepancies in the question paper and sought directions for re-examination.

The Petitioners on perusing the answer key notice noticed that there was change in the questions later. Also granting of 4 bonus marks for each wrong question led to huge discrepancy, as candidates appearing in one slot got just 16 bonus marks, whereas those in another, got 76.

State Government admitted in the Court that paper was not proper and expressed their willingness to re-conduct the examination.

The Court therefore allowed the writ petitions filed by the unsuccessful candidates and set aside the result and examination of RPMT-2014.

Maharashtra proposes State Assessment and Accreditation Council

Government of Maharashtra has proposed to set up State Assessment and Accreditation Council to lay down the norms and standards for schools in Maharashtra.

Earlier, in meeting of Experts on 16.04.2014, the subject was discussed and in furtherance thereof, it was decided to constitute a 16 member Committee headed by Education Commissioner, Maharashtra to lay down the road map for preparation of manual for accreditation and constitution of State Assessment and Accreditation Council.

This Committee which has wide range representation including representatives from ICSE, CBSE and IB, which will do a comparative study of norms and standards prevailing in other states and so also of National Assessment and Accreditation Council [NAAC] and will propose standards for schools in Maharashtra.

The Committee will also propose to the Government methodology to create awareness amongst the stakeholders about the assessment and accreditation and benefits which accrue to Institution and Students. The Committee has also been asked to detail the constitution, powers and functions of the proposed State Assessment and Accreditation Council. The Committee will also look into the manpower required and financial implication for operation of the proposed Council. This Committee will submit its report within 1 month.

The Report will then be studied further by an Working Committee of 11 members again headed by Education Commissioner, Maharashtra State, which will prepare the detailed manual regarding the process of assessment and accreditation.

EduLegaL View

Quality of Education, Infrastructure and Facilities to the students has been a major issue in Education System in our Council. Assessment and Accreditation is broadly used for understanding the “Quality Status” of an institution. The process of accreditation involves evaluation of curriculum, teaching-learning methods, faculty, infrastructure, learning resources and student services. This step will certainly help the school education system in Maharashtra in improving the level of education and access to students.



Ravi Bhardwaj

Principal Consultant, EduLegaL