Around two years after the human resource development (HRD) ministry blacklisted a central government-run institute in Tamil Nadu, the youth affairs ministry has got the Lok Sabha’s nod to provide it the status of national importance and a grant of Rs 100 crore to set-up its corpus fund.
The development has led to protests with a Lok Sabha MP writing to speaker Meira Kumar that all relevant facts were not placed before the House when it discussed and passed the bill on Monday, a charge that the youth affairs ministry refuted.In January 2010, the HRD ministry had submitted a list of 44 derecognised deemed universities. The list included Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) in Sriperumbudur, named after the former prime minister and fully funded by the central government through the youth affairs ministry.
A Sampath, a CPI(M) MP from Kerala, has raised objections, citing the HRD ministry’s decision to blacklist an institute run by another wing of the government.
“How could an institution which was blacklisted and derecognised since it did not qualify for elevation by any standard, be given a status of national importance and join the league of premier institutions such as IIT, AIIMS, NIT etc,” he has written to the Speaker.
A youth affairs ministry official, however, said the issue was explained to the satisfaction of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, where another CPI (M) member, PK Biju had raised the matter of blacklisting.
The HRD ministry had blacklisted RGNIYD following the report of a committee that said the “institute was not up to the expected level of excellence”.
The youth affairs ministry, which manages the institute, had protested saying that the University Grants Commission in 2008 gave it three years to prove its academic excellence.
Another HRD ministry committee in 2011 upgraded the institute’s category after finding that 28 research papers were published and a batch of masters was enrolled.
The institute, however, cannot be removed from the blacklist, as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
The court has not quashed the deemed university status of the 44 institutes.