University Grant Commission (UGC) is spending about Rs two crore to put up a stall at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, scheduled from January 11 to 13. This is the first time, the regulatory body whose role is restricted to giving grants to affiliated universities and colleges and to oversee the workings of the university has gone out to participate in a business summit. While all the expenditure is being incurred from the public exchequer, the members of the UGC are also not aware of the commission’s extravagance. No budgetary allocation for the summit appeared in any of the UGC meetings. The various skill development courses of UGC will be up for a display in the summit. The UGC says it is a step towards Prime Minister’s Make in India concept. “PM has proposed Make In India campaign. We want to tell the world, How to make in India,” said a official of Information and Library Network Center (INFLIBNET) an autonomous Inter- University Center of UGC at Ahmedabad. Besides explaining the broader role and objective of the UGC, the agency will promote its various skill development courses. “We want to communicate to the international community that we have plan to train adequate manpower for industries,” said the official. However the idea of UGC putting up a stall at a state sponsored event has not gone down well with many in the UGC. Even the members of the UGC seemed unaware about any such development. They feel that the UGC is working merely as a subordinate office of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. “All that the UGC is trying to project at the cost of Rs 2 crore for two days is available on the UGC website. What is the point of spending so much money,” said a member. The members also feel that as a regulatory body, the UGC has no role of such kind of promotions and it is for the universities and colleges to project themselves. Questions are also being raised on spending money only in Gujarat and not other states. “Madhya Pradesh also did an industry summit and West Bengal is doing one. Why only in Gujarat has the UGC decided to put up its stalls,” said a member.

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Vibrant Gujarat UGC’s first business summit