Centre to abolish deemed varsities

Students interests wont be jeopardised, says Sibal

Centre to abolish deemed varsities

Kapil Sibal

“The students have paid money and got admission to these institutions to get a university degree. And they will get it. It may be from another university, but the degree will be there,” Sibal said, responding to reports that in several places students have taken to the streets apprehending that their future would be in jeopardy.

The affidavit had said the 44 below-par institutions, including six from Karnataka, would be required to revert to their status as “affiliated colleges” of the statutory state university concerned or state medical or dental universities so that students are able to complete the ongoing courses and obtain degrees from the affiliating universities.

Legislation

Pointing out that the concept of deemed universities would be abolished, Sibal said: “The concept will go in the near future and this is part of the reform process. We are putting in place the required legislation,” he said.

“Technically, we have not derecognised any deemed university so far. But the matter is sub judice and whatever action the Supreme Court may ask us to take, we will conform,” Sibal said, addressing the Editors’ Conference on Social Issues here.

The matter will come before the Supreme Court on January 25. The institutes recommended for derecognition have 1,19,363 students at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels in addition to 2,124 pursuing research in MPhil and PhD programmes. An estimated 74,808 are pursuing distance education programmes.

In an 11-page affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Monday, the HRD Ministry mentioned the “aberrations” found in these institutions as “undesirable management architecture” of families rather than professionals running them; violation of principles and guidelines of excellence in teaching and research or innovations and “engaged in thoughtless introduction of unrelated programmes and proliferation of degrees;” and abuse of freedom and flexibility in matters of admission and fee structure.
Acting on complaints on the functioning of the deemed universities, the ministry had set up the P N Tandon committee to review such institutions.

Panel’s objective

The objective of the committee was to “review functioning of the existing deemed to be universities, and ensure that standards of higher education and research are maintained by such institutions as to justify their continuance as deemed to be universities.” Sibal also said that as part of the ongoing reform process, an independent assessment and accreditation body would be set up to rate institutions.

“We sincerely believe the proposed laws to prevent educational malpractices and setting up of educational tribunals will address complaints against institutions charging exorbitant donations, faulty infrastructure or lack of qualified faculty,” he added.

List of varsities facing action

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