No Relief for 44 Deemed Universities

The Centre has justified in the Supreme Court the Tandon Committee's recommendation to de-recognise 44 deemed universities (DUs) as they have not fulfilled the parameters for a deemed university.

With the Centre granting no relief, the 44 institutions, a bulk of them in Tamil Nadu, accounting for a total of about two lakh students, would be affected if the Supreme Court accepted the Centre's contention.

The Centre had already informed the court that these DUs would be treated as individual colleges to be affiliated to the universities in the respective states and interests of students would be protected.


In its report, the CoOs (Committee of Officers, appointed by the HRD Ministry) reviewing the 44 DUs said that there was no ground to interfere with the conclusions of the Tandon Committee report. The three-member expert panel was appointed by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry following objections raised by the DUs that sufficient opportunity was not given to them to present their case.

The CoOs report was filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on Wednesday after completing the process of review of these institutions (as briefly reported on Thursday).

The 90-page report (copy of which is available with The Hindu) says “none of the 44 institutions deemed to be universities placed in ‘category c' by the Tandon Committee, really seems to conform to the norms as laid down in the University Grants Commission guidelines (2000) in respect of such institutions.”

The report says, “It has to be borne in mind that the Tandon Committee only evaluated the DUs based on whether the particular institution was really working as a university or was it more like a college/technical institution. In fact, most of them have stated before this committee during the course of hearing that the institutions were mostly colleges affiliated to State universities due to which they were not able to take up ‘innovative' courses, including courses in the ‘emerging area' of knowledge or take up research/Ph.D. programmes as the institutions did not have the autonomy to do so. They were able to take up these activities only after getting the DU status.”

The report further says that “a similar line was taken by some of the medical institutions stating that without Medical Council of India's approval, they could not take up any innovative programme. Further it was also represented by the institutions before this committee that the time for them for improvement was very short while the institutions were being reviewed by the Tandon Committee.”

The report says “the institutions have submitted detailed replies and filed copious documents before the CoOs in response to the points raised by the committee of experts. All of them have made strong claims of having made significant progress in emerging areas, all elements necessary for a university.”

It says “The Tandon Committee has considered the position of the 44 DUs till the date of deficiency notice, i.e. January 25, 2011.” Therefore, the report says “the Tandon Committee and the CoOs are not concerned with the position of the 44 DUs as on the date of hearing.”

“The Tandon Committee, which has considered the replies from the institutions, have neither accepted the replies nor upgraded the marking of the institutions on each of the nine parameters in any substantial way to enable any DU cross over from category `C' to category B [in this category institutions have been granted three years to comply with the norms]. The CoOs, upon examining the matter, finds no reason to deviate from the conclusions drawn by the Tandon Committee, which comprised of academic experts.”

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