University Grants Commission (India)

University Grants Commission (India): University Grants Commission (UGC): Shaping Higher Education in India. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is a statutory body under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India.

Established in accordance with the UGC Act of 1956, its primary role is to coordinate, determine, and maintain the standards of higher education in India.

This article provides an overview of the UGC, its functions, and its impact on the Indian education system.


The University Grants Commission (UGC) plays a vital role in the Indian education system. It acts as a regulatory authority, ensuring that universities and colleges in India meet the required standards of teaching, examination, and research.

The UGC also provides recognition to universities and disburses funds to support higher education institutions across the country.

History of the UGC

The UGC was initially formed in 1945 to oversee the work of three Central Universities: Aligarh, Banaras, and Delhi. Over time, its responsibilities were extended to cover all Indian universities.

In 1952, the Indian government decided to centralize the grants to universities and higher learning institutions, leading to the establishment of the UGC on December 28, 1953.

In November 1956, the UGC became a statutory body with the passing of the “University Grants Commission Act, 1956” by the Indian Parliament.

Types of Universities Regulated by the UGC

The UGC regulates various types of universities in India, ensuring they adhere to the required standards. These include:

Central Universities

Central universities, also known as Union universities, are established by an act of parliament and come under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education. As of October 18, 2022, there are 55 central universities listed by the UGC.

State Universities

State universities are run by the state governments and are usually established by local legislative assembly acts. They are responsible for administering many affiliated colleges across different regions. The UGC lists 456 state universities as of August 23, 2022.

Deemed Universities

Deemed universities, or “Deemed to be Universities,” are granted autonomy by the Department of Higher Education based on the advice of the UGC. These institutions have the authority to design their own courses and award degrees. There are 50 institutions listed as Deemed to be Universities under Section 12(B) of the UGC Act, 1956.

Private Universities

Private universities are approved by the UGC and have the authority to grant degrees. However, they are not allowed to have off-campus affiliated colleges. The UGC lists 421 private universities as of August 23, 2022.

Fake Universities

As of August 25, 2022, the UGC has identified 21 fake universities operating in India. These institutions have been declared fake and are not authorized to confer any degrees.

Professional Councils

In addition to its regulatory functions, the UGC collaborates with various professional councils to ensure the quality and standardization of higher education. These councils include:

  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • Bar Council of India (BCI)
  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
  • Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
  • National Medical Commission (NMC)
  • Pharmacy Council of India (PCI)
  • Indian Nursing Council (INC)
  • Dental Council of India (DCI)
  • National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH)
  • National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM)
  • National Council for Rural Institutes (NCRI)
  • Council of Architecture
  • Various State Councils of Higher Education (SCHE)

Future of the UGC

The future of the UGC has been a topic of discussion and proposed reforms. In 2009, the government of India considered the closure of the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in favor of a higher regulatory body called the National Commission for Higher Education & Research (NCHER).

The goal was to enhance the coordination, maintenance, and improvement of higher education and research. However, this proposal has faced opposition and has not been implemented to date.

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving the standards of higher education in India.

Through its coordination, recognition, and financial support, the UGC ensures that universities and colleges provide quality education to students across the country.

Despite ongoing discussions about its future, the UGC continues to be an important institution shaping the landscape of higher education in India.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. What is the role of the University Grants Commission in Indian higher education?

The UGC coordinates, determines, and maintains the standards of higher education in India. It provides recognition to universities, disburses funds, and ensures quality education.

Q. How many types of universities are regulated by the University Grants Commission?

The UGC regulates various types of universities, including central universities, state universities, deemed universities, and private universities.

Q. What are fake universities?

Fake universities are self-styled, unrecognized institutions operating in contravention of the UGC Act. The UGC has declared 21 such institutions as fake, and they are not authorized to confer any degrees.

Q. What are professional councils associated with the UGC?

The UGC collaborates with professional councils such as AICTE, ICAR, BCI, NCTE, and others to ensure quality education in specific disciplines.

Q. What is the future of the UGC?

There have been proposed reforms to replace the UGC with a higher regulatory body called NCHER, but the implementation of these reforms has faced opposition and is yet to be finalized.

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