Panel finds most deemed universities don’t fulfill criteria

September 8, 2014

 A high-powered committee set up at the behest of the Supreme Court to look into 41 'C' category deemed universities has found that majority of them still do not fulfill the criteria needed to become deemed university.

"It is likely that around 10 or so have been found fit to be upgraded to become deemed university. Rest of them can exist as educational institutions affiliated to universities. Basically, classification of 'C' category institutions has been done in which a few pass the test of becoming deemed, a few lag behind on certain criteria and others have been found totally unfit," a source said,

In 2009, the Tandon committee, while reviewing deemed universities, had put 44 of them under the 'C' category and declared them unfit to be a university. These institutions went to the Supreme Court and the matter is being heard. In January, a new committee was set up by UGC to assess 'C' grade universities. UGC will discuss the new committee report on September 22 and 23.

Sources said the new committee headed by H Devaraj, vice-chairperson of UGC, after hearing 41 deemed universities extensively in July, raised several questions about the manner in which deemed university status was granted. Since the committee was also asked to examine other reports on deemed universities, namely one set up by UGC in 2009, Tandon Committee and Committee of Officers, it found many flaws.

One, how come many institutions got notified as deemed university on certain conditions. "There is no provision for conditional notification in the UGC Act. If some of the deemed universities had conditional status, did UGC or HRD ministry check if conditions were fulfilled after a certain period. Also, how come many of them with conditional status made it to the 'A' category (high performing) of Tandon Committee," asked a member of the committee.

He also asked how deemed university status was given to one college which brought its sister institutions under its ambit without getting them separately assessed. The new committee also pointed out serious discrepancy in upgrading eight 'B' category institutions to 'A' category.

The report was written in the last days of August as Amita Sharma, additional secretary in HRD ministry and a member of the committee, was retiring. Sharma is being brought back as advisor in the HRD ministry.



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