In order to rein in private universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all institutions not to offer degree programmes without its approval.
A letter sent to all universities said if a university wanted to start a degree programme, it would have to get it approved from UGC, six months before it starts admissions into the programme. Apart from central universities, the fresh diktat will be applicable on universities established under state Acts and provincial Acts including private universities.
A Panjab University official said the practice of floating new degrees was being noticed in the case of private and deemed universities for quite some time. “Some universities start degree programmes and give them fancy names which attracts students. But after completing the degrees, students fail to get jobs as the degrees are not as per the approved nomenclature of UGC,” the official said adding that in some cases it had led to litigations and other issues.
The letter states that no university shall confer degree in violation to the provisions of section 22 of the UGC Act 1956. “It shall be mandatory for the universities to adhere to the approved nomenclature of degrees and ensure the observance of the minimum standards of instruction before award of a degree hereinafter,” the fresh letter from the central regulator says.
The UGC has warned universities and other institutes and stated that contraventions of the provisions relating to the specifications of degree would render the defaulting universities and its affiliated colleges liable for appropriate action by the it, including the suspension of grants.
“If a university wishes to award a degree other than the one specified by the UGC, it shall approach the UGC for approval six months before starting the degree programme with full justification on the course started,” the letter further stated.
What is a degree as per section 22 of the UGC Act 1956
‘ Degree ’ means any such degree as may, with the previous approval of the central gover nment, be specified in this behalf by the commission (UGC) by a notification in the official Gazette.