Higher Education System Notes for UGC NET

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 14th, 2023

Higher Education is an important section of the UGC NET exam. We have already shared some basic study notes of Higher Studies (Read Here) for UGC NET exam. Here is the 3rd part of UGC NET higher studies notes. Candidates must read these NTA NET notes for higher studies thoroughly in order to score better in the upcoming exams of UGC NET.

Also, Register for Our Next Workshop on Expert Tips to Score 80+ marks in UGC NET Paper 1 Exam. 

Important points to Note for UGC NET:

  • The state with the most universities – Rajasthan with 76 universities. 
  • The state with the most deemed universities- Tamil Nadu with 28 universities.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have the most state universities, 28 each. 
  • Rajasthan has the most private universities, 46 in number. 
  • Uttar Pradesh has 6 central universities.



  • UGC came into existence on 28 December 1953 and governs universities in India.
  • In 1956, UGC became a statutory organization established by an act of Parliament.
  • As per the UGC Act (section 12), the main functions of UGC are coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards in universities.
  • It acts as are a commendatory body.
  • It does not have the powers to establish or derecognize any university.
  • UGC comprises of the chairman, vice chairman, and 10 other re-members appointed by the central government.
  • Secretary is the Executive Head.
  • It functions from New Delhi as well as its seven regional offices located in Bangalore, Bhopal, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Delhi.
  • The first chairman of UGC (Statutory Body) – Dr. C.D Deshmukh (1956-1961).
  • UGC implements numerous schemes aiming at improving the quality of higher education like:
    1. UPE: Universities with Potential for Excellence
    2. CPE: colleges with Potential for Excellence
    3. CPEPEA: Centre with potential for excellence and a particular Area
    4. SAP: Special Assistance Programme
    5. BSR: Basic scientific research

2. UGC Regional Offices

(a). Schemes

UGC Regional offices have implemented the schemes provided below:

  • Development of Colleges affiliated to State Universities.
  • Award of Teacher Fellowship to College Teachers to pursue M.Phil/Ph.D. for better development.
  • Minor Research Projects for College teachers.
  • Seminar/Symposia/Conference etc. for colleges.
  • Construction of Women’s Hostel (Special scheme).
  • Provide financial assistance to teachers who are Visually Handicapped (Blind).

(b). The details of the regional offices

  1. Northern Regional College Bureau (NRCB)
    Location: Delhi 
    Total number of Colleges: 922
    States Covered: Jammu & Kashmir,  Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh
  2. Western Regional Office (WRO)
    Location: Pune
    Date of Establishment: 11.11.1994
    Total number of Colleges: 996
    States Covered: Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Daman, and Diu
  3. Eastern Regional Office (ERO)
    Location: Kolkata 
    Date of Establishment: 03.09.1996
    Total number of Colleges: 1009
    States Covered: West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and Sikkim
  4. Central Regional Office (CRO)
    Location: Bhopal
    Date of Establishment: 01.12.1994
    Total number of Colleges: 791
    States Covered: Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
  5. Southern Eastern Regional Office (SERO) ,
    Location: Hyderabad
    Date of Establishment: 20.09.1994
    Total number of Colleges: 668
    States Covered: Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Andaman & Nicobar
  6. North-Eastern Regional Office (NERO)
    Location: Guwahati  
    Date of Establishment: 01.04.1995
    Total number of Colleges: 253
    States Covered: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, and Nagaland
  7. South-Western Regional Office (SWRO)
    Location: Bangalore 
    Date of Establishment: 25.04.1999
    Total number of Colleges: 714
    States Covered: Lakshadweep, Kerala, and Karnataka


  • There are two routes for establishing universities:

(i) through legislation

(ii) the deemed route.

  • University/ University-level Institutions are mainly categorized in the following categories:
    1. Central Universities
    2. State Universities
    3. Deemed-to-be Universities and
    4. The institution of National Importance

Total No. of Universities in India as on 12.11.2018


Total No.

Central Universities


State Universities


Private Universities


Deemed to be Universities




(a). Central University

  • A central university is established or incorporated by a Central Act (Act of parliament) and is under the purview of the Department of Higher education in the Union HRD Ministry.
  • There are 48 central universities under the purviews of MHRD.
  • The President of India is the Visitor of all central universities. He nominates few members in significant committees of the universities for effective and smooth functioning.

(b). State University

  • A state university is established or incorporated by a Provincial Act or by a State Act.
  • According to this list, there are 392 State Universities.

(c). Private University

  • A Private University is a university which is established through a State or a Central Act by a sponsoring body (Sponsoring body is a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860).
  • Other law for the time being in force in a State or a Public Trust or a Company which is registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (Sec. 25)
  • There are 317 Private Universities listed under UGC.
  • These universities can grant degrees but they are not allowed to have off-campus affiliated colleges.

(d). Deemed-to-be University

  • A Deemed University refers to a high-performing institution, as declared by the Central Government under the UGC Act, 1956 (Section 3).
  • Deemed Universities enjoy academic status and privileges of a university.
  • These universities award degrees to the students for courses which are offered at the time of conferment of the status of them and other courses allied to the approved courses.
  • These universities can also award degrees for conventional/ general degree programmes -B.A/ B.Com/ B.Sc or M.A. M.Sc.
  • There are 125 Deemed to be University according to the UGC list.

(e). The institution of National Importance

  • An Institution is established by Act of Parliament and declared an Institution of National Importance.
  • There are 91 Institutes under this list including IIMs.

4. Major Focused Indian Government Initiatives in Higher Education

(a). SKILL INDIA INITIATIVE- Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’.

  • This scheme has been launched by Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
  • The target under this initiative has been set to train400 million citizens by 2022 that would make them industry-oriented.
  • The initiatives launched include various programmes like:
  1. PMKVY: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  2. NPSDE: National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015
  3. Skill Loan scheme

1. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): It is the flagship program and it includes incentivizing skill training by providing financial rewards on completion of training to the participants.

2. (NPSDE) National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015

  • This is based on the vision to skill the Indian youth rapidly with high standards to make them ready for modern industries.
  • This policy also promotes entrepreneurship skills among youth for creating wealth and gainful employment for the citizens.

3. Skill Loan Scheme

  • It is designed to disburse loans of Rs 5,000 (US$ 75.3) to Rs 150,000 (US$ 2,260) to 3.4 million Indians planning to develop their skills in the next five years.

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