The UGC has proposed to identify up to 25 universities from all over the country for financial support under its Centres with Potential for Excellence in Particular Areas (CPEPA) scheme.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon come up with the list of universities being selected under its Centres with Potential for Excellence in Particular Areas (CPEPA) scheme.

July 30 is the last date for universities to apply for the scheme, which helps them receive financial support from the UGC for stepping up excellence and quality of higher education offered across the country.

The aim of the scheme is toenhance the academic and research capabilities of the selected universities in their chosen areas and/or disciplines at utmost speed.

While the earlier schemes generally aim at the development of academic/research infrastructure to improve the programmes and activities in a chosen discipline at the selected university, the CPEPA scheme focuses on supporting the development of inter-and/or multi-disciplinary areas and specific research projects in these areas.

The universities will be required to take up academic, research and other activities in one or more inter- and/or multi- disciplinary areas of contemporary significance in fields like, physical/ chemical/ biological/ social sciences and humanities. The UGC has proposed to identify up to 25 universities from all over the country for financial support under the scheme during the 11{+t}{+h} Five Year Plan Period, with each one to set up a “centre with potential for excellence in a particular area”.

The main objectives of the scheme include encouraging and facilitating the chosen departments at the selected university to work together by associating their like minded faculty members. The scheme also tries to build up cooperation and collaboration in their programmes and activities on a regular basis, by cutting across departmental and/or discipline barriers.

While there will be no preference on the subject areas to be identified and/or taken up under the scheme, it is necessary that each one has to be of the inter- and/or multi-disciplinary type and be in the emerging, frontier or cutting edge subject areas of regional, national and/or international importance.

It is expected that two or more departments at the university will be able to jointly launch new and innovative academic, research and/or extension programmes / activities in inter- and/or multi-disciplinary areas; take up this endeavour, to initiate major programmes/ activities of regional/national/international interest and importance; and benefit from their combined academic performance, research capabilities and overall achievements;

The UGC wants these universities to reach a leadership position in their chosen fields/areas in a short time; and become highly successful in gaining the confidence, respect and admiration of the society at large.

The other objectives of the scheme include strengthening the academic and research facilities and infrastructure at the university for achieving excellence in the chosen areas besides enhancing the quality and standard of UG/PG teaching-learning-evaluation processes, research work and extension activities in the chosen areas.

The scheme also aims at promoting excellence in academic programmes relevant to the social, economic and other needs of the nation in general and the region in particular.

Universities will be asked to take up networking and collaboration with other institution of higher education/ national/ laboratories/ centres, as part of the scheme.

The financial assistance to a university will be limited to a maximum of Rs.7 crore for science/technology areas and Rs.5crore for social science/humanities areas.

The tenure of the university under the scheme will be for five years initially. Universities need to submit a detailed project report to receive the assistance.