Panel to assess 41 deemed 'C' category universities

July 3, 2014

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced a four-member sub-committee under its vice-chairman H Devaraj to assess the 41 deemed universities which were placed in the 'C' category by the P N Tandon committee and are facing de-recognition.

The sub-committee has to complete the assessment before July 31, which is the deadline set by the Supreme Court for the UGC to give its advice to the HRD ministry on the status of the 41 universities. Former IIT Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande, UGC member V S Chauhan and additional secretary to HRD ministry Anita Sharma are the other members of the sub-committee.

At its meeting held on June 13, the UGC resolved that representatives of these deemed universities shall make a video presentation about their institutions before the sub-committee and respond to queries raised by the panel members. The commission decided that after assessing each presentation, the proceedings of the sub- committee should be videographed and the reasons for the decision on each institution's status should be recorded.

On January 21, the Supreme Court had given the UGC two months' time to advice the HRD ministry on the status of these institutions after examining three reports related to deemed universities in the country. These included the 2009 reports by an expert panel of the UGC and by the Tandon panel and the 2011 report by a panel of officers headed by secretary to HRD ministry Ashok Thakur. The court had also asked the commission to examine the responses of the institutions concerned.

In March, the UGC resolved that all three reports varied in their approach, analysis and conclusions. It observed that considerable time had lapsed since the reports were submitted and the commission was not in a position to ascertain the current status of these institutions with respect to their physical and academic infrastructure, academic performance and research output. It concluded that a fresh assessment of these institutions was needed.

The panel approached the Supreme Court with this conclusion and sought more time to complete the assessment exercise. The court granted it time till July 31 to complete the process.

In a nutshell

1. The HRD ministry had set up the Tandon panel in 2009 to review the status of all 126 deemed universities in the country

2. In its report, the panel had listed 38 of these institutions in category ?A' for being truly worthy of continuing with their deemed university status and listed 44 institutions in category ?B', with a recommendation to give them three years' time to improve. The panel recommended de-recognition of deemed university status for the remaining 44 institutions

3. On January 25, 2010, the Supreme Court ordered a status quo relating to the category ?C' institutions, which still continues

4. One of the 44 category ?C' institutions has since been declared as an institution of national importance by the central government and another two have been allowed by the Supreme Court to surrender their deemed university status. The issue now remains for the 41 institutions that are fighting out the Tandon panel's recommendation in the court. . (Source- TOI)

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