University Grants Commission (UGC) is a constitutional organization in India. Set up in 1956 by the Indian Government, UGC has the power to grant recognition to universities in the country. The primary functions of UGC is to coordinate, promote, regulate and monitor the standards of education being offered by the university. UGC has recognized hundreds of universities across India. Since UGC closely monitors the academic excellence of the universities it has approved, a UGC approved university in Delhi NCR or in any other part of the country is expected to impart higher quality education than a university which is not approved by UGC.
Close monitoring by UGC of the universities ensure that a UGC approved university is a trusted centre of excellence. Degree awarded from these universities are a symbol of authenticity and is accepted by all organizations in India. Also, the degree from UGC approved universities is valid for all competitions and jobs in India. In fact, we invariably come across eligibility criteria for various competitive examinations in India where it is specifically mentioned that in order to sit for the examination the candidate must have so and so degree from a UGC approved college or University. In fact, the primary purpose of this statutory body set up by the government is to ensure that the education standards in India are maintained above certain benchmark levels.
AICTE and UGC
AICTE stands for All India Council of Technical Education. AICTE is the statutory body and a national-level council for technical education, under Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Established in November 1945 first as an advisory body and later on in 1987 given statutory status by an Act of Parliament, AICTE is responsible for proper planning and coordinated development of the technical education and management education system in India. The AICTE accredits postgraduate and graduate programs under specific categories at Indian institutions as per its charter.
It is often seen that students are confused by the validity and authenticity of a course or degree more so if it is approved by one statutory body and not by another. It may happen that a course is approved by UGC but not by AICTE. This often tends to confuse and confound students and they are often at sea when it comes to the final decision of whether they should join the course or give it a pass.
To make matters simple for students and to clear the air of confusion surrounding approval by these two important statutory body, we wish to inform you that UGC or the University Grants Commission is the highest authority as far as higher education and the universities are concerned. Universities that are not UGC approved means that a degree they give out for all intents and purposes is worthless. Universities can be private, state, central, deemed etc but irrespective of their category, they need to be approved by UGC and find mention in UGC’s official website.
Technical courses are to be recognized by AICTE. However, Honourable Supreme Court of India declared in April 2013 that the AICTE can only act in an advisory capacity and not a governing body which is the UGC only. AICTE can offer guidance and recommendations but the final authority lies with UGC. The gist of the matter that in case you are joining a course which is being run by a recognized UGC recognized university in UP or any other Indian state, you do not have to fear whether it is AICTE approved or not.