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UGC bailout hope for ‘unworthy’ 44

New Delhi, March 30: The University Grants Commission has recommended a fresh inspection and review of 44 deemed universities that were found substandard by a government committee in 2009.

The recommendation is expected to bail out the institutions dubbed “unworthy” and put in the “C” category by the P.N. Tandon panel, which had called for them to be stripped of the “deemed university” status immediately.

This, however, could not be done as these 44 institutions moved the Supreme Court, where the case is still dragging on.

In January this year, the apex court had directed the Centre to seek the commission’s comments on the Tandon panel’s recommendations.

The court said the commission should take a stand after examining the Tandon findings, the commission’s own review report of 2009, the report of an officers’ committee in 2011, and the response of each of the 44 institutions.

At the end of a three-day meeting of all its members this week, the commission has concluded that there is a lot of discrepancy between the findings of the various reports.

So, it has decided on fresh inspections, multiple sources in the commission and the Union human resource development ministry told The Telegraph.

While the Tandon panel found the performance of these institutions unsatisfactory on nine parameters, including teaching and research, the commission’s 2009 report had rated these institutions as performing at the expected level.

In their responses to the Tandon findings, all the 44 institutions have claimed that they have improved their infrastructure and standards of research and teaching and pleaded that their deemed university status not be withdrawn.

A senior commission official said: “The commission members felt that there was no unanimity in the findings of the reviews. So, withdrawing the deemed tag from 44 institutions on the strength of just one report would not be fair.”

This stand will be conveyed to the ministry, which will place it in the Supreme Court before the next hearing.

The Tandon committee had examined 126 deemed universities and found 44 of them “unworthy”. These institutions had scored less than 15 out of 45.

It had found 44 others deficient on many counts and put them in the “B” category. The performances of 38 were found satisfactory.