While UGC’s own secretary has started questionable degree programmes, UGC itself has asked many universities to either rename or scrap programmes which don’t adhere to its mandatory provisions. A few months ago, UGC issued a show cause notice to Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) for offering master’s in computer management, personnel management and marketing management. As per the notice, these are not specified degrees under Section 22 (3) of UGC Act 1956.
“Should a university fail to submit an explanation within the prescribed time, it will be presumed that the university doesn’t have any explanation to offer and UGC will initiate action against the university as it deems fit, including stoppage of payments of grants to the university,” the notice states.
When contacted, Professor WN Gade, vice chancellor of the SPPU, said that the matter was resolved after the nomenclature of all three degrees was changed in accordance with UGC norms. Other universities such as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) etc are also offering degree courses which are not valid.
When this correspondent filed an RTI inquiring about the status of the agri-business management course run by BHU and master’s in agriculture economics and business management run by AMU, UGC replied that these were unspecified degrees. Both the universities did not respond.
Commenting on the degree specification process, Professor Gade says, “If the nomenclature of any degree course of any university varies from those in the consolidated list of UGC, the matter should be resolved by consultation. The decision of the education regulator, UGC, however, is final and universities should comply with its ruling.”