The Ministry of Human Resources and Development (HRD) has decided to withdraw the “deemed” status awarded to 44 universities in the country, stating they were being run as “family fiefdoms” and not on “academic considerations”.
Deemed university is a status of autonomy granted to high-performing institutes and departments of various universities, allowing them to set their own guidelines for admission, syllabus and even fees.
The government will allow the institutions to run under their parent universities so as to not jeopardise the future of students.
Nearly two lakh students are enrolled in these universities in 13 states across India.
In an affidavit submitted with the SC, the ministry said the decision follows a report submitted by the P.N. Tandon committee and the special task force set up to suggest measures to tackle the problem.
The high-powered committee and the task force had arrived at the findings after inspecting 126 deemed universities. “The review committee came across several aberrations in the functioning of some of the institutions deemed to be universities. It found undesirable management architecture, where families rather than professional academics controlled the functioning,” the affidavit read.
According to the Centre, the 44 universities found unfit to retain deemed status were offering post-graduate and undergraduate courses “fragmented with concocted nomenclatures” and seats that were “disproportionately” increased beyond the actual intake capacity.
Another 44 institutions have been given three years to rectify the shortcomings.
Institute of History of Art Conservation and Musicology running from Janpath in the capital, Bangalore’s Christ College and Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Noida are among the institutes shorn of their status.