|Sibal orders review of
all deemed-to-be universities
New Delhi, June 4 .New Delhi,
June 4 (IANS) The government Thursday issued show-cause notices to two
institutions in Tamil Nadu after media reports said their officials were
seeking Rs.20-40 lakh for admission. The government also put in abeyance
all proposals from private institutions seeking the status of “deemed-to-be”
The human resource development
(HRD) ministry issued show-cause notices to the Ramachandra University
and Shree Balaji Medical College of Tamil Nadu, whose officials were caught
on camera by the Times Now television channel asking for ‘capitation fees’
of Rs.2-4 million in violation of laws.
Deficiencies with regard
to the availability of qualified faculty and infrastructure have prompted
the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, on Thursday
to order the UGC to take up a review of the functioning of all the ‘deemed-to-be’
universities and give a report in the next three months.
He also asked UGC to review
the admission and enrolling process of the universities.
This comes in the wake of
a UGC meeting held on Thursday evening where concerns from various quarters
regarding the institutions were discussed.
The minister has also ordered
that all other pending requests for deemed university status across the
country should be kept in abeyance.
Besides, a show-cause notice
has been issued by the Government to two Chennai-based institutions, Sri
Ramachandra University and The Bharath University (of which Balaji Medical
College is a constituent unit) as to why deemed-to-be university status
should not be withdrawn and appropriate action under law not be initiated
against them. The two institutions are in the public eye after a capitation
fee controversy broke out in the media.
The review order is the first
step taken by the newly appointed HRD Minister, Mr Sibal, towards reforms
in education. Around 125 universities were accorded with the ‘deemed university’
status during the previous government.
|This is a large number considering
between 1956 and 1990 only 29 institutions were granted such a status.
In Tamil Nadu, the number of private universities has increased from 17
in 2007 to 35 in 2008.
According to reports, there
are many other institutions in line to be granted the ‘deemed university’
Deemed universities have
faced criticisms on various counts. Improper admission procedure, lack
of qualified staff, poor infrastructure standards are some of the allegations.
The National Knowledge Commission
(NKC) and the Professor Yashpal-led Higher Education Committee have both
recommended that the ‘deemed university’ concept be scrapped. The Higher
Education Committee has suggested that the ‘deemed university’ status holders
should prove their credentials within the next three years, failing which
their status should be done away with.