The Supreme Court will on Friday hear in detail whether the University Grants Commission (UGC) is ready to inspect all 41 deemed universities, which were blacklisted by the commission, and allow them to function only after fresh physical verification of their infrastructure and teaching faculty.
The apex court had on Thursday objected to the clean chits that the UGC recently gave to these institutions to start functioning again without conducting a physical verification of their infrastructure.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra asked additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, who represented the UGC, to come back with a definite response on Friday on whether UGC was willing to inspect all the 41 deemed universities that were blocked in the “C” category in 2009 after Centre-appointed PN Tandon committee found them unfit to be declared deemed universities.
But, a recent report prepared by UGC vice-chairman H Devaraj and submitted to the Centre said only seven universities out of the 41 that were blacklisted were found inadequate, and the human resource development ministry would serve them a show-cause notice before their de-notification.
According to the report, the 34 universities had made enough improvements and could continue as deemed universities.
The review committee also recommended physical verification in case of a few universities cleared. Seven universities were blacklisted due to inadequate infrastructure facilities.
Nine parameters were taken into consideration during the evaluation. They included conformity to the provisions of the UGC Act and UGC guidelines, aspects of governance, quality of and innovations in teaching-learning process, research output, doctoral and other research degree programme and faculty resources.
The SC asked how 34 of the 41 universities found deficient in 2009 by the UGC were recently given clean chits without further verification.
The blacklisted institutions had approached the SC, opposing the HRD ministry's decision to derecognise them.
A bench took note of senior advocate Harish Salve’s submissions, who was representing one of the seven universities that continue to be blacklisted, that UGC had erred in giving clearances without actually physically verifying the claims made by the 34 on their infrastructure facilities.
Justice Misra seemed to agree with the contention and said in the age of technology one should not rely on photographs as these could be doctored and photoshopped.
The bench then ordered the commission to inspect the institution represented by Salve saying why a uniform order could not be passed for all 41 institutions.
The blacklisted deemed universities are Bharath Institute of Higher Education, Chennai Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation, Salem Academy of Maritime Education and Training, Chennai Maharishi Matkandeswar University, Ambala and Haryana Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Rajasthan.
The universities proposed to be blacklisted are Janardhan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur and Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology, Thanjavur.