The Oxford dictionary defines ‘University’ as a high-level educational institution in which students study for degrees and academic research is done. Etymologically, ‘university’ is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which crudely means “community of teachers and scholars.” During medieval times, association of students and teachers with collective legal rights given by princes and statesmen or the towns in which such associations were located came to be known as university.
India’s higher education system works at both private and public level universities. Public universities function under the directives issued by the Government of India and the state governments whereas private universities function under various approved educational bodies and societies. The University Grants Commission (UGC), the highest educational authority, recognizes and awards the ‘universal’ status to various universities. The UGC draws its power from the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. Along with the UGC, 15 Professional Councils are also established, in charge of different parts of accreditation and coordination.
Types of Universities in India:
Central University: Central University aka Union University is established by an Act of Parliament and is under the purview of the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. The UGC lists 46 central universities such as Rajiv Gandhi University, Nalanda University, Indira Gandhi National Open University, University of Delhi etc.