Ashok Kumar Gadiya, chairperson of Mewar University, a private state university of Rajasthan, claims to have informed UGC about the MoUs it has signed with various skill-training institutes, but he has yet to get its consent. Excerpts from an interview.
The MoUs you have signed with several institutes are in violation of UGC’s 2003 regulation for private universities. What do you have to say about this?
I have read the 2003 regulation and it says that a private university cannot open any off-campus or study centre without UGC’s permission, but I have not opened any such centre. I have signed MoUs with other institutes.
But there is no provision in the 2003 regulation to collaborate with other institutes in the form of MoUs to grant degrees.
That’s what I am saying. So it means that I can do this because there is no mention of this kind of provision so it can’t be illegal.
How does this prove that everything not mentioned in the regulation is legal? It’s like you are trying to circumvent the ban on opening off-campus though the MoU…
I have written to Sunita Siwach, deputy secretary, UGC, and informed her that I have signed MoUs with these institutes but I have not got any response from them. So I am not doing it secretly. I have left it to the Commission to examine these MoUs. It’s a new concept. Work will not stop even if the UGC does not respond.
When did you inform the UGC?
About a year ago.
But you signed MoUs with these institutes way back in 2012.
When questions were raised about the validity of these MoUs, I wrote to the UGC. If it is illegal, the Commission should have written back to me but I haven’t got any objections from them. So I don’t think I am doing anything wrong.
Some of these courses for which you are grating degrees don’t match the UGC’s nomenclature of degrees published in the gazette. Without the UGC’s approval, no new degree programmes can be started.
As I said, we have informed the UGC and we have not received any objection. If I was doing something wrong, they should have objected to it.
If the UGC says that this collaboration is illegal, will you scrap the programme?
Yes, I will do that.
I have spoken to a senior UGC official who told me that such MoUs are illegal and these will produce invalid degrees.
Let the Commission write to me