THE PRIVATE universities to come up in the State would be ‘on-campus’ entities to start with. It means that these private universities would function only through on-campus centres and have no affiliated colleges or centres outside the campus for at least five years.
Also, these universities would be restricted in functioning within Madhya Pradesh and never have any centres outside the State. These provisions have been included in the revised Private Universities Bill of MP that is expected to come up for passage in the State Assembly during the budget session.
The changes have been brought about in the bill as per the guidelines of the University Grants Commission and the directives of the Supreme Court of India as regards private universities, sources in the Higher Education Department said in Bhopal.
The revised bill is also to be sent out to the Governor/Chancellor for his approval before being placed in the Assembly for passage. The Governor earlier returned the bill on various grounds including the non-confirmation to UGC guidelines. But the required changes have been made now. The Law Department is also going through the draft bill to seal all the legal loopholes, the sources added.
As per the new provisions, after a period of five years, the universities would be able to approach the University Grants Commission for setting up of off-campus centres. The UGC would give permission to the centres based on the performance of the universities during the first five years and the feedback from all concerned. This would help in keeping check on the quality and intentions of the private universities, the sources added.
The private universities set up in Chhattisgarh had been declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and asked to close shops. This was done on the basis of a petition filed by eminent scientist and former chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof Yash Pal, who took exception to the fact that the UGC was given a total go-by in the Act under which the universities were set up.
The UGC is vested with the sole authority to examine the infrastructure available with colleges and the courses prescribed by an institution before being conferred with a deemed university status and this factor was totally ignored in the Chhattisgarh Act.
Taking lessons from the Chhattisgarh fiasco, the State Higher Education Department has taken care of all this factors and kept the provisions in line with the UGC guidelines.
Higher Education Department Principal Secretary Dr Bhagirath Prasad said that some prominent changes are under consideration in the bill and they would be finalised soon.