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Deemed University Status

  • 13 Sep 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), University Grants Commission (UGC), Institute of National Importance.

For Mains: Significance of Higher Education.

Why in News?

Recently, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has applied to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the deemed university status.

Why did NCERT apply for Deemed University Tag?

  • Lack of Government Decision: The government’s proposal to make the NCERT an institute of national importance is on hold.
  • Benefits: The status would allow NCERT to offer its own graduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees and have autonomy in terms of introduction of programmes, course structure, conducting examinations and management, among others.
  • Present Status: The graduate and post-graduate programmes offered by NCERT’s Regional Institute of Education (RIE) are affiliated with local universities like Barkatullah University, Bhopal, M D S University, Ajmer, University of Mysuru, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar and North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong.
  • Need: Despite offering innovative teacher education courses through RIEs for decades, the NCERT is still dependent on the approval of local universities to introduce programmes.

What is the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)?

  • About:
    • The NCERT is an autonomous organization set up in 1961 by the Government of India to assist and advise the Central and State Governments on policies and programmes for qualitative improvement in school education.
    • The Executive Committee (EC) is the highest decision-making body of NCERT and is chaired by the Education Minister.
  • Objectives:
    • To undertake, promote and coordinate research in areas related to school education, prepare and publish model textbooks, supplementary material, newsletters, journals and develop educational kits, multimedia digital materials, etc.

What is a Deemed University?

  • About:
    • Deemed University is a type of higher education institute, it has been recognized by the status of “deemed to be university” under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956.
      • In broad terms, it means that the institution has been granted permission to offer its own degree programs, which are equivalent to those provided by regular universities.
  • Benefits:
    • There are many benefits of being a Deemed University, such as increased funding opportunities and attracting better faculty. Additionally, these institutions often have more flexible admissions policies.
      • The authority to revise the curriculum.
      • The right to conduct examinations and evaluations.

What are the other Different types of Universities in India?

  • Central University:
    • A university established or incorporated by a Central Act. The establishment and operation are funded by the Union Government.
  • State University:
    • A university established or incorporated by a Provincial Act or by a State Act.
  • Private University:
    • A university established through a State/Central Act by a sponsoring body viz. A Society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, or any other corresponding law for the time being in force in a State or a Public Trust or a Company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
  • Institution of National Importance:
    • An Institution established by Act of Parliament and declared as Institution of National Importance. They are funded by the Government of India and include all the IITs, NITs and AIIMs institutes.
  • Institution under State Legislature Act:
    • An Institution established or incorporated by a State Legislature Act.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Regarding Wood’s Dispatch, which of the following statements are true? (2018)

  1. Grants-in-Aid system was introduced.
  2. Establishment of universities was recommended.
  3. English as a medium of instruction at all levels of education was recommended.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (a)


  • Charles Wood was a British Liberal politician and a Member of Parliament. In 1854, he sent the “Wood’s Dispatch” to the Governor General Lord Dalhousie which is called the Magna Carta of English Education in India.
  • As per the Dispatch, an education department was to be set up in every Province, universities on the model of the London University were to be established in big cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, at least one government school was to be opened in every district, affiliated private schools were to be given grants-in-aid, and the Indian natives were to be given training in their mother tongue also. Hence, statements 1 and 2 are true.
  • The Wood’s Dispatch gave importance to the teaching of English, but at the same time, it also stressed on the teaching of Indian languages at primary level. Hence, statement 3 is not true. Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer

Source: IE

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