Thursday, April 30, 2015

UGC taking action against blacklisted universities

The Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani has stated in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) that the University Grants Commission (UGC) is making efforts in dealing with the issue of fake universities. The UGC has identified 21 fake universities across the country. These universities are carrying out their functions in violation of the UGC Act, 1956.

According to investigations by the UGC, these 21 universities are running several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which are not accredited from either the state, central, UGC or any other authority capable of granting accreditation. These institutions do not have the capacity to award any degrees.

In her communication to the Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani has mentioned the steps taken by the UGC in order to resolve the problem of fake universities in different parts of the country.

  • The UGC has published a list of fake universities on its website
  • It has informed all the unrecognized universities that any misleading advertisements by them will lead to legal action under the IPC (Indian Penal Code)and UGC Act and others. Few cases against the unapproved universities have already been filed by the UGC
  • The UGC will defend the cases against fake universities in the courts. However, any action against such universities can only be taken by the state governments and local authorities
  • The UGC has sent notices to the heads of these universities, asking them to close down the universities with immediate effect. It has also sent reminder letters to the education secretaries of states for taking action against the unrecognised universities
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had rejected the UGC proposal to clear 34 out of 44 deemed universities from the blacklist.

These 44 universities had been blacklisted in 2009, by the Tandon Committee set up under the then HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. The committee found that these universities were lacking in the quality of education as well as the infrastructure that they provided. It said that they are unfit for recognition and awarding degrees. Only three out of these 44 universities voluntarily surrendered their deemed status and established themselves as institutes. The remaining varsities, however, moved court against the committee's report.

Recently, UGC also prepared its reports regarding the conditions of the remaining 41 universities. And according to its investigations 34 out of the 41 universities deserve to hold the deemed status.

As both the reports had inspected, the universities based on different parameters and the results of both commissions are entirely different, a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra had ordered the HRD Ministry to find out the validity of the two reports; and formulate uniform guidelines for conducting such inspections.

Source: India Today Live, April 30, 2015
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