Deemed varsities to face litmus test

Manish Kumar
Post News Network

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to review functioning of deemed universities across the country, the University Grants Committee (UGC) has written to such institutions seeking detailed information about their activities and infrastructure.
The latest UGC move to review the recognition of deemed universities has raised many eyebrows as such institutions were earlier being reviewed by a five-member Tandon Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2009. The panel divided the 130 deemed universities under three categories – A, B and C.
‘A’ category deemed varsities come under qualified institutions while B category institutions were given three-year time to improve their infrastructure and to meet other parameters to be qualified for ‘A category’. But the C category varsities were recommended to be derecognised.
The panel from Orissa examined only two institutions — the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Training (KIIT) and Siksha-O-Anushandan (SOA). It accorded B grade to KIIT and recommended de-recognition of SOA by placing them in the ‘C category’. Later, the whole issue went sub-judice. Subsequently, the grading of many institutions changed after the review by the panel.
Now the deemed universities are again in dilemma over the review process started by the UGC. Many believe such moves could add to the worries of such deemed universities. Legal experts fear if proper attention is not taken by the UGC, it could turn to be a ‘Tandon Part-2’.
Advocate Ravi Bhardwaj, a legal expert on education matters told Orissa POST, “Many deemed universities were uncomfortable with the report of the Tandon Committee as it took decisions to reconise on the basis of presentations held in Delhi. They never bothered to visit the institutions to get the real picture.”
P P Mathur, vice-chancellor of KIIT University told Orissa POST that they have not received any such communication from the UGC.

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