With the approval of autonomy, the universities may now start new courses, plan their own syllabi and collaborate with foreign institutions.
However, the above decision was taken at a UGC meeting held on 20 March where five central universities, 21 state universities, 26 private universities and 10 other colleges have given the autonomy under the Autonomous College Regulation.
Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar hailed the development as "historic" and said it will enable the selected institutes to decide their admission procedure, fee structure and curriculum, among others.
The decision was taken by the UGC following applications by institutions for graded autonomy under recently notified regulations. They will also have the freedom to hire foreign faculty, enroll foreign students, give incentive based emoluments to the faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run open distance learning programmes.
While Utkal University, with a NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) score of 3.53, has been declared Category-I university, National Law University was declared Category-II university with a NAAC score of 3.32.
Many deemed-to-be universities, including Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), are also on the list.
Institutions like JNU, HCU, NALSAR, Osmania University, Jadavpur University, Jammu University, TISS and National Law University, Delhi, among others, were parked in this category and they now are free to start a new course, department and school without UGC approval.
The Vice-Chancellor would soon initiate a multi-layered dialogue within the university and evolve mechanisms to translate this newly granted autonomy into our quest for institution-of-eminence ranking, the press release added.
The central universities include Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), University of Hyderabad and English and Foreign Languages University, Telangana. Javadekar said a show cause notice will be given to the Institute of Advance Studies in Education in Rajasthan; Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation in Salem (Tamil Nadu); and the Meenakshi Academy of Higher Education and Research in Chennai, which are reportedly lacking in quality.