UGC- University Grants Commission will be launching an Inter-University Centre of Teacher Education, as part of the current 12th Five-year Plan. The main purpose of this initiative is to create a strong base of quality teachers in Indian Universities.
H. Devaraj, vice-chairman of UGC who attended the 47th convocation of Madurai Kamaraj University, addressed the gathering and said, "The centre will be established at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh at a cost of Rs.300 crores, and the centre would deal with the requirements of south India."
"The number of universities and varsity-level institutions had risen from 523 to 573 over the past year. The number of colleges had grown from 32,964 in March 2011 to 35,539 in March this year. Also, enrollment had risen as well with 20.37 million students enrolling in various courses, in the academic year 2011-12, as against 18.7 million in 2010-11", he added.
"However, such growth has brought several problems. Tremendous effort is needed to rectify the situation. Moreover, there is no dearth of recommendations for improvement and reforms in higher education. A number of committees and commissions constituted by the Centre had already given exhaustive reports on the ways and means to streamline the education system", he said.
The Union Ministry of Human Resources Development has also put efforts to improve and transform the status of higher education through same track program RUSA (Rashtria Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan).
The university Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan said that UGC had sanctioned Rs. 10 crores exclusively for granting scholarships to those pursuing M. Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in the varsity. Guidelines for distribution of the scholarships had been framed, and they would be advertised shortly.
"Currently, 165 research projects with an outlay of Rs. 34 crores are being operated by the faculty of the university and many more are in the offing... The UGC has identified MKU as one of the 15 universities in the country to facilitate the Connect to India programme for undergraduate students drawn from universities and colleges in the United States," she added.