Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breather for 44 deemed universities facing derecognition

The 44 deemed universities facing derecognition due to deficiencies in their infrastructure have received a fresh lease of life since a new committee will conduct a probe and report to the government in six weeks. The Supreme Court will receive the report from the government a month later. Since the new academic year will start by then, the universities under cloud will continue functioning without hitch till then.

The Centre had earlier clarified the 200,000 students enrolled in these universities at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels would not suffer on account of the failure of the universities. Colleges affiliated to these universities would continue to impart education. It is estimated that 2,124 students are doing research in M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes and 74,808 students are pursuing distance education programmes. If the universities lose their recognition, the students would be absorbed in other recognised universities, according to government assurance.

Last year, 132 deemed universities were derecognised following reports of various deficiencies. Later the number was reduced to 44 and status quo was ordered in regard to them. Since then, they were functioning under court orders. As the universities protested and alleged they were not heard before taking the drastic action, the court appointed Prof. P N Tandon Committee to go into the deficiencies. The panel pointed out several shortcomings. For instance, it found families rather than professional academicians controlling the institutions in several universities.

In an order passed in January this year, these 44 universities were asked to rectify the inadequacies like proper buildings, laboratories and other facilities required for professional colleges. However, the bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari today put the earlier committee apparently in cold storage and decided to wait for the report of the new committee. Each university would be given an individual hearing drawing attention to the deficiencies and they would be asked to explain their stand. More or less, the same procedure was adopted by the earlier committee also. However, the court decided to have afresh appraisal to take a definitive decision about the fate of these universities.

Source: Business Standard, April 12, 2011

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