UGC tags 8 deemed varsities ‘unworthy’

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By BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY
  • Published 23.09.14
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New Delhi, Sept. 22: Higher education regulator UGC today recommended withdrawal of the deemed university status from eight institutions for poor academic output.

The eight, among the 41 earlier declared “unworthy” of the deemed tag by the Tandon committee set up by the human resource development ministry in 2009, include four from Tamil Nadu, sources said.

Two of the others are located in Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana account for the remaining two.

Sources said the University Grants Commission met here and approved the report of a committee, headed by vice-chairman H. Devraj, that examined the performance of the 41 institutions.

The four-member committee, which also included two professors, Sanjya Dhade and V.S. Chauhan, both UGC members, and Amita Sharma, an additional secretary in the HRD ministry till last month, went through presentations by each of the 41.

Although there was no official confirmation regarding the eight on the chopping block, the institutions whose names are doing the rounds are: Bharat University, Chennai; PRIST University, Thanjavur; Vinayak Missions University, Salem; Academy of Maritime Education and Training, Chennai; Sobhit University, Meerut; Janardan Rai Nagar University, Udaipur; Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Sardarshahr; and Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Ambala.

The remaining 33 are free to continue with their deemed status, the committee said.

In January this year, following an appeal from the 41 institutions found “unworthy” by the Tandon committee, the Supreme Court had directed the government to seek comments from the UGC on what should be done with them.

The court observed that the commission should examine the findings of the Tandon committee, the UGC’s review report of 2009, a 2011 officers’ committee report on these institutions and the response of the institutions concerned.

On June 13, the UGC decided to set up the four-member committee to examine the performance of each of these institutes.

Some within the UGC felt that the Devraj panel should inspect all the 41 institutions but, because of time constraints, the committee decided to assess each by giving them a hearing and going through their presentations.

The UGC has conveyed its decision to the HRD ministry, which will place it in the Supreme Court. The court is likely to hear the matter tomorrow.

Two of the eight deemed universities have filed interlocutory applications. They have pleaded that the court should not accept the findings as the Devraj committee did not inspect any of the 41 institutions but prepared the report based on their presentations.