There are 15 private universities in the state. The chief minister, who also holds the education portfolio, was replying to a question raised by Dalhousie legislator Asha Kumari who wanted know about the number of private universities recognised by the UGC.
Virbhadra Singh said, “Private universities set up under an Act of the state are required to adhere to the regulations of UGC (Establishment and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulation 2003.”
“The government has not provided land to any sponsoring body for setting up private university in the state. In fact, the managements of these private universities have purchased land from private parties and the government has accorded permission under Section 118 to acquire the land,” said Singh when asked about the large tracts of land purchased by some of universities.
He said promoters of private universities had bought more than 5,000 bighas of land in the state. The land purchased by private universities figured prominently in the Congress charge sheet submitted to the President.
The Dalhousie MLA also raised apprehensions about the courses being run by the private universities. “Have these courses been recognised by the UGC or the degrees will prove to be a mere a piece of paper for the students,” she said, adding that the future of the students of the private universities was at stake.
Kumari sought intervention of the state government to persuade the authorities concerned to keep check on the courses introduced by the private universities.
The chief minister said, “The courses and curriculum of the private universities is regulated by the UGC and the state government does not come in the picture.”