Private universities issue rocks HP House

The issue of permission granted to large number of private universities to set up campuses in Himachal Pradesh and land purchased by them, rocked Assembly on Tuesday with members questioning the credentials of these universities and the degrees being awarded by them.

Raising the question during Question Hour, former education minister Asha Kumari of Congress asked whether the degrees being offered by these universities were recognised or they were only pieces of paper.

“Are we playing with the future of the students by giving the degrees, which don’t have any value?” she said.

She wanted to know the parameters for giving permission to private universities to purchase large chunks of land for developing campuses, in relaxation of section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, which barred non-agriculturists to purchase any land in the state without government’s permission.

Replying to the question, chief minister Virbhadra Singh said, 15 private universities were allowed to open campuses during the BJP regime from Januray 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012 and only six universities of these have been inspected by the University Grants Commission.

“We have not received any inspection report from the UGC regarding these universities,” he added.

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