UGC rejects Symbiosis off-campus in Telangana, agrees to Smriti Irani's proposalsSeptember 24, 2014
Even after the court's intervention in the matter, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has once again denied permission to the Pune based Symbiosis University from setting up an off-campus centre in Hyderabad. It has however, allowed Delhi based Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan - a Deemed to be University - to set up an off-campus centre at Agartala (Tripura) citing its high academic standing.
Also approved in the Commission meeting were a series of proposals suggested by the Smriti Irani led dispensation at the HRD ministry's guidelines for Knowledge Upgradation centres for Skilled Human Action and Learning (KUSHAL) and Guidelines of Swami Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Sciences besides Guidelines of schemes like 'Development of Women Studies in Indian Universities and Colleges' & 'Capacity Building of Women Managers in Higher Education'. Guidelines for the Modi government's flagship Swachch Bharat mission were also approved by UGC.
The Commission also called off a proposed MoU with the Health Ministry and the Banaras Hindu University to set up a Regional Geriatric Centre in the Institute of Medical Sciences at BHU, Banaras under the National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) as the Health ministry refused to make financial commitments for the set up any further than 2017.
The UGC, however, stayed firm on its refusal to grant permission to Symbiosis for its off-campus. In the Commission meeting held on September 22, the UGC reconsidered the Expert report on the Symbiosis University and decided "not to recommend the proposal of Symbiosis International (Deemed to be University) to set up an off-campus Centre at Mamidpally, District Mahabubnagar, Telengana".
After it was refused permission by the UGC in July this year, the University had gone to court challenging the Commission's decision. The UGC had then denied permission to Symbiosis citing the union HRD ministry's policy that restricts expansion of deemed varsities. In fact, UGC earned the ire of the court last week when its counsel said that the final decision to deny permission for an off-campus to Symbiosis was taken after taking into account the views of the HRD ministry.
Taking exception, the court pulled up the HRD ministry for interfering with the working of the apex higher education regulator and had asked the UGC to re-look at Symbiosis University's request.
The minutes of the UGC meeting record that "the Commission reconsidered the matter in the light of the directions issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, and keeping in view the deficiencies pointed out in the UGC's Expert Committee Report and the accreditation based on temporary injunction of the Hon'ble Court and not on the basis of re-accreditation by NAAC, as mandated in UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010 resolved not to recommend the proposal of Symbiosis International University".