SC seeks reply on deemed varsities

A three-Judge bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan directed the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry and University Grant Commission (UGC) to file their replies.

Jitendra Narayan Singh, a resident of Patna, in a petition had challenged the constitutional validity of Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 which confers wide, uncanalised, unguided and absolute power on the executive to recognise an institution as “deemed university” and such action had resulted in commercialisation of granting degrees. 

Other PIL

While referring to the other PIL — Viplav Sharma Vs Union of India & Others (dealing with 44 deemed university derecognition issue) — the petition said that the executive authority in recent years was exercising arbitrary, unmindful and unguided amount of power under UGC provision to grant the status of deemed university to any institution.
“The institutions which have been recognised as Deemed Universities in turn indulge in conferring degrees by making profit instead of being interested in imparting education to the students enrolled with them,’’ said the petition filed by advocate Amit Anand Tiwari.
The petition has sought the apex court’s direction to declare Section 3 of the UGC Act as ultra vires of the Constitution, so that setting up of a university would be with the legislative authority by enacting a law in the legislature.

It may be mentioned that after the apex court derecognised private universities on the basis of the report submitted by Prof Yashpal, the government had started awarding deemed university status to 147 institutions between 2006-09.

“The innocent student who after having invested time, money and effort, receives a piece of paper as degree conferred by such deemed universities which has no value or substance,” alleged the petition. 

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